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Montevideo, March 27th 2023 - 16:03 UTC



Pope canonizes third Argentine saint

Monday, October 10th 2022 - 10:06 UTC
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Zatti became the third Argentine Saint, after Hector Valdivieso and “Cura” Brochero Zatti became the third Argentine Saint, after Hector Valdivieso and “Cura” Brochero

Italian immigrant Artemides Zatti, who spent most of his life as an Argentine nurse has been canonized Sunday by Pope Francis for his work in Patagonia after the Vatican confirmed a miracle attributed to his intercession. He took up Argentine citizenship in 1914.

“Salesian Brother Artémides Zatti was an example of gratitude,” the Argentine pontiff explained during a ceremony in St. Peter's Square.

Zatti, known for his work in Patagonia at the service of those most in need in the early 20th century, became the third Argentine national to be granted sainthood.

Born in Boretto (Regio Emilia, Italy) on October 12, 1880, Zatti lived in Argentina from 1897 until he died in 1951, where he developed a career as a nurse that brought him closer to the community since joining the Salesians of Don Bosco movement.

“Artémides met the Salesians in Bahía Blanca, where he had arrived in 1897 with his family. Unfortunately, many immigrants lost the value of faith, absorbed by work and the problems they encountered. But the Zattis, thanks be to God, were an exception,” the Pope recalled.

At age 20, Zatti joined the Salesians' formation house in Bernal, Buenos Aires, as a seminarian, where he cared for a priest with tuberculosis and contracted the disease, due to which he was sent to a hospital in Viedma, where he prayed for healing and promised a life of dedication and service if he recovered. It was at that moment that he promised to dedicate his life to the care of the sick. “I believed, I promised, I healed,” he argued.

In 1908, after his recovery, he was admitted into the Salesian Congregation as a coadjutor brother, where he took care of the San José Hospital's pharmacy.

“Cured of tuberculosis, he dedicated his whole life to satisfying the needs of others, to caring for the sick with love and tenderness. It is said that he was seen carrying the corpse of one of his patients on his back. Filled with gratitude for what he had received, he wanted to show his thanksgiving by taking on the wounds of others,” Francis underlined.

“On February 18, 1911, he made his perpetual profession as a lay Salesian and immediately set to work with the sick, first distributing medicines, and then in the management of the entire hospital of Viedma,” according to his Vatican official biography.

“In that small piece of land in Patagonia where the life of our Blessed took place, a page of the Gospel was rewritten: the Good Samaritan found in him a heart, hands, and a passion, especially for the little ones, the poor, the sinners and the least,” the Pope stressed.

Always close to people in need, Zatti was even imprisoned for providing health care to an inmate. He also treated the Salesian Ceferino Namuncurá.

In 1950, after forty years of helping the sick in Viedma and Carmen de Patagones, Zatti fell from a staircase and was forced to rest. After a few months, he was diagnosed with cancer and died on March 15, 1951.

Zatti, who had been declared blessed by Saint John Paul II in 2002, was canonized after a miracle achieved through his intercession was recognized in the healing of a man from a “right cerebellar ischemic stroke, complicated with a voluminous hemorrhagic lesion,” in August 2016 in Lipa, Philippines.

The miracle, without medical explanation according to the report of the canonical tribunal that approved it, occurred with the sudden healing of the patient who had already been transferred to his home to spend his last hours with his relatives after being hospitalized for more than ten days due to a cerebral hemorrhage.

The Holy See attributes to the patient's brother, also a Salesian, the prayer to Zatti that led to the miracle for which the “nurse of the poor” was declared a saint.

Zatti became the third Argentine Saint, after Hector Valdivieso, who served his priesthood in the city of Buenos Aires and was canonized in 1999 after being killed in the Spanish Asturias Revolution of 1934, and after José Gabriel Brochero, the “gaucho priest” canonized by Jorge Bergoglio in 2016.

Categories: Argentina, International.

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