Italy has been the hardest-hit European nation by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 63,927 confirmed cases of and 6,077 deaths as of the most recent numbers. The country has been on total lockdown since early March.
Among the recently dead is Friar Don Giuseppe Berardelli, the 72-year-old priest for the parish of Casnigo, a small village northeast of Milan. Berardelli had contracted coronavirus and was hospitalized in Lovere, Bergamo, one of the country’s worst-hit areas. Given the shortage of medical supplies, Berardelli’s parishioners pooled their resources and bought him a respirator. But Berardelli refused the gift, giving it instead to a younger patient he did not know.
This was Don Giuseppe Berardelli.
Don Giuseppe was a priest who loved smiles and motorcycles. When he got infected, he let someone else use his respiratory unit. He died of #COVIDー19.
— Laura Ingallinella (@lauraingalli) March 23, 2020
An Italian news website quoted a local healthcare worker who said the priest “listened to everyone, he knew how to listen, whoever turned to him knew that he could count on his help.”