Sacrificial love was on display this week after an Italian priest infected with COVID-19 died after giving his respirator to a stranger.
Newsweek reports that Father Don Giusseppe Berardelli, who was hospitalized in Lovere, Italy, gave up his medical equipment to a younger patient in need.
The 72-year-old was an admired man who enjoyed serving his community, and was well-known for helping people experiencing financial hardship.
Catholic News Agency reports that 60 priests are known to have have died in Italy during the month of March alone.
Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli, a 72-year-old priest who gave a respirator (that his parishioners had purchased for him), to a younger patient (whom he did not know), has died from #coronavirus.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) March 24, 2020
Bishop Gianni Ambrosio said, “I pray to the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of light and strength. Everyday I do the Via Crucis asking the Lord…to carry this cross with us.”
Most of the deceased were over the age of 70 and some of the priests were suffering from health problems. So far, the youngest priest to die from coronavirus in Italy was 53-year-old Fr. Paolo Camminati.
“It is a darkness that we must face, but with the hope that God never abandons us, that he himself has gone through all the suffering to overcome it,” Bishop Ambrosio said.
Currently, Italy has the highest global number of official deaths due to the coronavirus. On March 23, the Italian Ministry of Health reported that 5,476 people have died and over 59,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy since February.
The priest and the respirator is not an isolated situation. There are just not enough any where in the world to handle the number of patients.
“If you don’t have enough ventilators… people who need it will not be able to get it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on March 15. “My colleagues in Italy… they’re making very tough decisions. Hopefully we never get to that point. They are there, it’s terrible, you don’t want to be in a position to have to make those choices.”
Health experts now doubt China’s public acknowledgement of just 3,600 deaths with reports that there are over 21 million fewer cellphone users in the communist country. Experts now believe that millions of Chinese likely died.
Please continue to pray for all those around the world who have been affected by the coronavirus.