Italy – Joy and gratitude for St. Artemide Zatti, unstoppable

11 November 2022

(ANS - Boretto) - Next Sunday, Nov. 13, will mark the first liturgical feast of St. Artemide Zatti. This new saint was a multifaceted figure – a migrant, nurse, pharmacist, hospital administrator, Salesian coadjutor ... - and his testimony is able to speak to everyone. Especially close to Artemide Zatti are, understandably, his fellow citizens of Boretto, who a few days after his canonization remembered him with a rich and varied celebration, and who still feel his presence alive today.

Lucia Camiglioni, a devotee of St. Artemide Zatti, testified, for example to "La Libertà," the diocesan weekly of Reggio Emilia:

"For me the Mass of Thanksgiving on October 16 was truly an opportunity to give thanks for so many things. Thanks to our Saint Artemide because, by knowing him more and living him on this path, he reminded me to make the capacity to love more real through gestures, words, and concrete choices. And I understood that this leads to discovering a brother in the face of those close to us, to care for them and their need for affection. I was moved by his found and given love, a new heart, of flesh, able to suffer, to feel compassion; like the heart of Jesus. (...)

Thank you for his example of fidelity to Christ and to the man giving all of himself in prayer and in the proclamation of the Gospel; done not only with words, but with the testimony of his own life, in situations of suffering, of poverty, through charity. Always with a smile and the Rosary in his hand, riding his bike on the roads to holiness, thus becoming a true 'theologian,' through a true theology, made with his hands, pedaling with effort through the streets of towns and cities, giving all of himself to the poorest sick.

And I give thanks again for this simplicity that is delivered as a gift to our Boretto community, so that each of us may find our own path and walk it with as much faith and generosity. (...)

A phrase in the homily stuck with me: 'Now for you, nothing will ever be the same again.' That for me meant the handing over of a new path to follow in a journey of faith, both personally and as a community. Saint Artemide intercede and pray for us now and always."

Her words were echoed by a young woman, Mariapina, who participated in the ColorZatti event that same day.

"Color," the young woman said, "because I had launched the idea of a color run, but not being able to do it, we invited all participants to show up in a white T-shirt, and then at the start, the children left their imprint wet with color on the shirts of their parents and friends. About 400 people signed up, and another 100 came without registering.

Each stage was enlivened both by a narration, given by a group of storytellers/actors from Boretto, who, complete with costumes and extras, told us a piece of the story of Artemide; and by games organized by the children of our pastoral unit; and by the children's choir from the Salesian School in Bibbiano. As we moved from one stage to another, children and adults were invited to raise their blue hats, donated especially for the 'ColorZatti', and shout 'hooray' for Zatti and for Jesus.

Before the final stage, we passed by the Basilica, where we all together identified a moment of the day for which to thank God and said an intercessory prayer to the saint.

Finally, we headed to the oratory for the last games and snacks. After two years of emptiness, of silence, it was full of people of all ages: children, teens, parents, grandparents, all colorful, all joyful, all happy to have spent a wonderful afternoon together. At that moment I realized that that was really a miracle: Artemide had pulled off another one of his ‘pranks’!"


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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