Rome (Italy). On 9 October 2022, in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, the canonization of Artemide Zatti, professed layman of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, will take place, announced on 27 August 2022 during the ordinary public consistory, together with that of Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, Bishop of Piacenza, founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles and of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, or Scalabriniani.
The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, Card. Marcello Semeraro, presented the profiles of the two apostles of charity dedicated to the sick, the least, and migrants, defined by Pope Francis as “Examples of Christian life and holiness to be proposed to the whole Church, especially in consideration of the situation of our times”.
Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, thus summarizes the characteristics of Zatti, the first Salesian Coadjutor – consecrated, but not a priest – to be proclaimed a Saint. “Artemide Zatti lived both the experience of the migrant, and that of illness, bearing witness in them to the saving power of Easter and the joy that characterizes Don Bosco’s style and which permeates the whole Salesian family of which he was a part. He is a particularly topical model of holiness in these times marked by the pandemic and in which many are forced to abandon their lands of origin and for this reason his canonization will be a celebration for many”.
Born in Italy at Boretto (Reggio Emilia), on 12 October 1880, Artemide Zatti at the age of 17 emigrated to Argentina with his family because of poverty, and settled in Bahia Blanca, where he attended the parish run by the Salesians. At 20, he went to Bernal’s Aspirantate. Assisting a young priest suffering from tuberculosis, he contracted the disease and, with a vow to Mary Help of Christians, he promised to dedicate his whole life to the sick. Once healed, he made his First Profession as a lay brother on 11 January 1908 and Perpetual Profession on 8 February 1911.
Consistent with the promise made to Our Lady, he immediately and consecrated himself totally to the hospital, esteemed by all the sick, by doctors, and nurses. The fame of a holy nurse spread throughout the South and sick people arrived from all over Patagonia. In 1950, he fell from a ladder and on that occasion the symptoms of a cancer manifested itself, which he himself lucidly diagnosed. He died on 15 March 1951 in full consciousness, surrounded by the affection and gratitude of the entire population.
There are several initiatives to make his virtues known and to accompany the event of the Canonization, starting with a logo, chosen by the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, together with Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, with the motto: “I believed, I promised, I healed.” They are three verbs that mark a spiritual path of abandonment to the hands of God and dedication to the good of others. He who has been healed, will become a healer with his whole person, with the unconditional love that he showed every day. The two colors, red and blue, recall the colors of Mary Help of Christians and reveal the love for God and neighbor that characterized Zatti’s entire life (red), as well as a life abandoned to the mystery of His will and Divine Providence (blue). Source: InfoANS.
The Website www.zatti.org, produced by the Salesian Bulletin of Argentina at the invitation of the General Postulation, presents insights, news, and resources, including a prayer through his intercession, for all those who wish to know better the figure of the Salesian Brother.
The site also presents the link to the short film “Zatti, hermano nuestro” (Zatti, our brother), released in 2020 and available for free on the YouTube platform, dubbed in Italian, English, Portuguese, and French, or with subtitles in Korean, Spanish, French, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Slovenian.
The event of the Canonization of Artemide Zatti, which on 9 October will gather the Salesian Family in celebration, is a reason for praise and thanksgiving for the copious fruits originating from Don Bosco’s Charism and relaunching for all the Groups and for each member on the journey of Salesian Holiness, following the example of these models already recognized by the Church and of those whose Causes have been introduced.