Pope Francis defined them as the "Examples of Christian life and holiness, to be proposed to the whole Church, in consideration above all -of the situation of our times". For the Church in Argentina and in the birthplace of Boretto (Reggio Emilia) and for the whole Salesian Family, it is great news that fills our hearts with joy.
"The witness of these two Blesseds” - explains Cardinal Semeraro presenting them to Francis – “brings the attention of believers in Christ back to the theme of migrants who, as the Pope said several times, if integrated can help to breathe the air of a diversity that regenerates unity; they can nourish the face of catholicity; they can bear witness to the apostolicity of the Church; they can generate stories of holiness". The prefect then outlined the lives of Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and Artemide Zatti, highlighting their pastoral work towards migrants "judged by many to be a prophecy of a Church close to the people and their concrete problems". Zatti was "an authentic interpreter of the Salesian spirit, with an affable temperament and the joy that always accompanied him, even in the most difficult of circumstances".
"Artemide Zatti lived both the experience of the migrant and that of illness, witnessing in them to the saving power of Easter and of that joy which characterizes Don Bosco's style percolating to the whole Salesian Family of which he was a part. He is a model of holiness, relevant in these times marked by the pandemic and in which many are forced to abandon their homelands. “For this reason his canonization will be a feast for many” – reflected Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, the Postulator General of the Salesians of Don Bosco – “a new saint close to the suffering and not only because he spent his life for them, but because he lived on himself the experience of illness, maturing an extraordinary sensitivity towards the sick and never losing hope and joy".
Participating in this event were several Salesians and members of the Salesian Family, in communion with the Salesian cardinals present in Rome for the Ordinary Consistory. The civil and ecclesial community of Boretto also participated in this joy as the commune’s mayor Matteo Benassi and the parish priest Fr. Giancarlo Minotta wrote in an official statement: "We are in a historical moment marked on the one hand by sad occurrences and by great uncertainties, through which we navigate our economy, politics and personal lives. On the other hand, our times often highlight only the negative facts and examples and ambiguous references particularly for our young people. In this context, the canonization of Artemide Zatti is like a ray of light that pierces the cloudy sky. It shows us that it is not necessary for us to use only our imagination to invent characters that live up to our deepest desires, which today seem impossible to be able to live; but that in friendship with Christ and our commitment to daily work, we can live up to those desires".