On April 9, Pope Francistasted the miracle that will lead the Italian-Argentine doctor Artemides Zatti to his next canonization. A health professional who dedicated his life to caring for the sick.
The miracle attributed to his intercession that made his canonization possible consisted of the healing of a Filipino man who was dying due to a severe ischemic stroke in the head, which was aggravated by heavy bleeding.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints dated this miraculous healing to August 24, 2016., in the Philippine city of Tanauan. This individual’s illnesses began two weeks earlier, when he began to feel unwell with dizziness, retching, and mobility problems. He had to be hospitalized with a serious prognosis.
He was transferred to the ICU after a worsening of the disease. A surgical intervention was necessary that his family could not afford. For this reason, he was discharged on August 21 so that he would die at his home. He even received the Anointing of the Sick.
But everything changed three days later, when the patient suddenly lost his feeding tube and oxygen, and asked to be allowed to eat. In the following days he resumed his normal life.
The brother of the Filipino man, who is also a Salesian brother in Rome, hhad asked for his recoveryand the same day he was admitted to the hospital, he began to pray for the intercession of Blessed Artemides Zatti.
Artémides Zatti: The story of the Argentine doctor who cured patients with words
As a young man, Zatti attended a Catholic parish run by the Salesians of Don Bosco in the Argentine town of Bahía Blanca. At the age of 20 he joined the candidacy to be a Salesian priest.
While living in the Salesian community, Zatti contracted tuberculosis after caring for a young priest with the disease.
One of the Salesian priests, a nurse, suggested to Zatti that she pray for the intercession of Mary Help of Christians, promising her that if she were cured, she would dedicate her life to helping the sick.
Zatti willingly made the promise and was cured of tuberculosis. He later said of the event: “I believed, I promised, I was healed.”
The young Italian immigrant abandoned the idea of the priesthood and became salesian coadjutor coadjutor a lay position, to be able to devote himself to service in the medical field.
In 1915, at the age of 35, Zatti became director of the hospital drun by the Salesians in Viedma, a city in central Argentina. Two years later, he also became the manager of the pharmacy and received his license as a professional nurse.
Zatti fulfilled his service to the sick with heroic sacrifice
Zatti not only worked at the hospital, but also traveled to the outskirts of Viedma and the neighboring city of Carmen de Patagones to caring for the needy, and his fame as a saintly nurse spread through that area of Argentina.
Some people even recalled seeing him carry the body of a patient who had died overnight to the morgue while reciting the deep a prayer for the dead that comes from the text of Psalm 130.
Those who knew him say that Zatti fulfilled his service to the sick with heroic sacrifice and that radiated the light of God, even leading some unbelievers to faith.
In 1950, after falling from a ladder, Zatti began to show signs of liver cancer. He continued to work, but on March 15, 1951, at the age of 70, he died of illness.
Artemide Zatti will be the first Salesian brother to be declared a saint.
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