AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Artemide Zatti, the first Salesian Brother, consecrated, but not a priest - to be proclaimed a Saint: a message of hope

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 canonization   religious institutes  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - On 9 April 2022, during the Audience granted to His Eminence Most Reverend Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the Decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Artemis Zatti, professed lay person of the Society of St. Francis de Sales; born on 12 October 1880 in Boretto (Italy) and died on 15 March 1951 in Viedma (Argentina). This means that Blessed Artemide Zatti will therefore be recognized by the universal Church as a Saint. The date of the canonization will be decided by the Supreme Pontiff in the course of an ordinary Consistory. The inexplicable healing that paves the way for the canonization of Artemide Zatti took place in the Philippines in August 2016 and concerns a man who had suffered an ischemic stroke, accompanied by further complications.
The news is a source of great joy for the Salesian Congregation which will have the first Salesian Brother – consecrated, but not a priest – to be proclaimed a Saint. “We are about to experience a special Easter” wrote Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, in his message for the occasion. “In the light of the Lord’s Pasch, this is a message and seed of hope in the dramatic times we are experiencing, marked by the pandemic but especially by wars, in particular the war in Ukraine, bringing death, sorrow and destruction. Artemides Zatti encourages us to experience hope as a virtue and attitude of life in God. The path to holiness very often requires a change in values and vision. This was the path taken by Artemides. In the trials of life he discovered in the Cross a great opportunity to be reborn to a new life”.
Artemide Zatti was born in Boretto (Reggio Emilia, Italy) on 12 October 1880. Forced by poverty, the Zatti family emigrated to Argentina at the beginning of 1897 and settled in Bahia Blanca. The young Artemide immediately began to frequent the parish run by the Salesians. He was 20 years old when he went to the aspirantate in Bernal. While caring for a young priest suffering from tuberculosis, he contracted the disease. He was then referred to the missionary hospital of Viedma, led by Fr. Evarisio Garrone who invited Artemide to pray to Mary Help of Christians to be healed, suggesting that he make a promise to dedicate his whole life to the care of the sick. He was cured and kept his promise. He made his first profession in 1908. In keeping with the promise made to Our Lady, he immediately and totally consecrated himself to the hospital, esteemed by all the sick, by doctors and nurses. He was above all a great Christian. In 1950, he fell from a ladder and on that occasion the symptoms of a cancer manifested itself that he himself lucidly diagnosed. He passed away on 15 March 1951. He was declared Venerable on 7 July 1997 and Beatified by Saint John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Square on 14 April 2002. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 13/4/2022)