"I believe in God since I know Mr Zatti"

Blessed Artemides Zatti

Celebrated on March 15th

Blessed Artémides Zatti was an Italian-born religious of the Salesians of Don Bosco and a noted pharmacist that emigrated to Argentina in 1897. Zatti became a professed Salesian in 1911 and became well-known for his ardent faith and commitment to the sick.

Artémides was born in Reggio Emilia on 12 October 1880, one of eight children of Luigi Zatti and Albina Vecchi. The family emigrated to Argentina in 1897, settling in Bahía Blanca. Artémides first worked in a hotel and in a brick factory.

After meeting Fr Carlos Cavalli, he decided to join the Salesians of Don Bosco. He made his first profession on 11 January 1908. and made his solemn profession as a secular member on 11 February 1911.

Artémides contracted tuberculosis in 1901 after nursing another person who had the disease, Fr Ernesto Giuliani. Sometime in 1902 he also cared for Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá. He recovered from TB after turning to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On 5 March 1903 he became a manager of the pharmacy in the hospital of San José.

He attended frequent Mass and learnt to speak Spanish. His routine included morning Mass and meditation as well as a bike ride to the sick. He would visited patients and entertain them with games. After work he read spiritual texts and studied, eventually gaining a nursing diploma. Zatti’s work schedule was from 4.30am until 11pm.

One doctor said: “I believe in God since I know Mr Zatti”. He became an Argentine citizen in 1914 in the following year he began the Christian weekly publication ‘Flores del Campo’.

A much-loved person, Artémides became ill and eventually died of cancer on 15 March 1951 in Videma.

The campaign for his beatification began soon after his death. On 1 June 1979 he was named a Servant of God. The diocesan process opened on 22 March 1980 and concluded not long after, which allowed for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to validate the process on 14 December 1984 and later assume possession of the Positio in 1991.

Theologians approved the cause on 25 October 1996 and the CCS followed this on 8 April 1997. Zatti became titled as Venerable - on 7 July 1997 - after Pope John Paul II confirmed the fact that he had lived a model Christian life of heroic virtue.

The process for investigating a miracle opened in Buenos Aires after Jorge Mario Bergoglio - the future Pope Francis - inaugurated the process on 14 April 1998 The CCS validated this process in Rome on 20 November 1998. A medical board approved the miracle on 9 March 2000 and theologians followed this decision on 27 October 2000.

Artémides Zatti was beatified on 14 April 2002 in Saint Peter’s Square. He is a patron of pharmacists and immigrants.

(from ICN)

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