The 72-year-old was an admired man who enjoyed serving his community, and was well-known for helping people experiencing financial hardship.

Don Giusseppe Berardelli
Don Giusseppe Berardelli

An Italian priest infected with COVID-19 died after giving his respirator to a stranger.

Don Giusseppe Berardelli, a Catholic priest who was hospitalized in Lovere, Italy, died after giving up his medical equipment to a younger patient in need, Newsweek reports.

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It seems like a sentence made, “dead on the field”. Don Giuseppe had been archpriest of Casnigo for almost fourteen years and would have concluded his mission in Casnigo. He ended it earlier, in a hospital in Lovere, hit by the coronavirus.

The 72-year-old was an admired man who enjoyed serving his community, and was well-known for helping people experiencing financial hardship.

Don Giuseppe died “as a priest”.

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Not less than 60 priests have died in Italy from the Coronavirus during the month of March, Catholic News Agency reports.

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.

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The Archpriest of Casnigo Don Giuseppe Berardelli was 72 years old. Born on August 21, 1947, he was originally from Fonteno. Ordained priest on June 30, 1973, his first assignment had been coadjutor in the parish of San Giuseppe in the upper town, then in Calolzio from 1976 to 1984. He later became parish priest of Gaverina and from 1993 parish priest of Fiorano al Serio. In 2006 he was appointed archpriest of Casnigo. He had had health problems but he fought with his usual smile and that grit to those who rely on God. He died at the Lovere hospital.

No funeral but the people of Caserta greeted him in their own way, at noon on Monday 16 March they looked out onto the balcony of their home and greeted him with applause.

Don Giuseppe, as soon as he became Archpriest in Casnigo in 2006 he immediately worked on the renovation project of the new oratory dedicated to San Giovanni Bosco and San Giovanni Paolo II, the Pope of whom Casnigo keeps the cassock-relic in the Sanctuary of the Madonna d’Erbia. Don Giuseppe was a Marian priest, very close to the Sanctuary and was loved by everyone, according to Araberara.

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Currently, Italy has the highest global number of 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.

Please continue to pray for all those around the world who have been affected by the coronavirus.

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