Pope Francis passes a display featuring Blessed - soon to be Saint - Artemide Zatti Pope Francis passes a display featuring Blessed - soon to be Saint - Artemide Zatti 

Pope: Blessed Artemide Zatti dedicated his whole life to the sick

On the eve of Blessed Artemide Zatti’s canonization, Pope Francis recalls the Salesian brother as a migrant, a friend of the poor, a religious brother, and an intercessor for vocations.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis on Saturday welcomed members of the Salesian religious family to the Vatican, on the eve of the canonization of Blessed Artemide Zatti.

Zatti, a professed Salesian brother, was born in Italy and emigrated to Argentina as a young man. He became a pharmacist, and was renowned for his care of the sick.

In his address to the Salesians, Pope Francis recalled the various aspects of Zatti’s character, noting that, with the support of his family, Zatti maintained his faith while many other migrants lost theirs.

Dedicated to the sick

The Pope also highlighted Zatti’s care for the poor. After he was healed from tuberculosis through the intercession of Mary, Help of Christians, “Artemide dedicated his entire life to the sick, especially the poorest, the abandoned, and the discarded… He lived the total donation of himself to God and the consecration of all his strength to the good of his neighbour.”

He did so, Pope Francis said, as a faithful Salesian coadjutor, or lay brother. Artemide attributed his vocation to his miraculous healing, saying that he believed in Mary’s ability to heal him; promised to care for the sick “because it was my desire to be of help in something to my neighbour; and that God, therefore, healed him.” Pope Francis said these three verbs – believed, promised, healed – “express the blessing and consolation that touch Artemide’s life.”

Intercessor for vocations

Finally, the Pope described Bd Artemide Zatti as an intercessor for vocations. The Holy Father said he had personally experienced Artemide’s intercession for vocations to the lay consecrated life for the Jesuits when Francis – then Fr. Jorge Bergoglio – was a provincial. The Pope emphasized the importance of religious brothers, and encouraged them to be grateful for the gift of this call, “which gives a special witness of consecrated life.”

Pope Francis is set to canonize Bd Artemide Zatti along with Bd Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, the founder of the Scalabrinian religious family on Sunday morning at St Peter’s Basilica.

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08 October 2022, 12:25