(ANS – Vatican City) – In a “Paul VI” hall of the Vatican filled with thousands of Salesians, members of the Salesian Family, and devotees of the future saint Artemide Zatti, SDB, the tribute ceremony on the eve of the Canonization of Artemide Zatti took place on the morning of Saturday, October 8.
From the very beginning, there was great enthusiasm among the devotees of the future saint. Among the first to enter was the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, accompanied by all the members of his General Council, various Provincials, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, and Matteo Benassi, mayor of Boretto, Zatti’s place of birth.
Once the hall of more than 3,000 members of the Salesian Family was filled, the solemn Eucharist began, presided by the Rector Major and concelebrated by dozens of other Salesians: members of the General Council, Rector Major Emeritus, Fr. Pascual Chávez, and several other cardinals and bishops.
“It is truly a great gift to find ourselves here as Sons and Daughters of Don Bosco to celebrate the holiness of one of his sons: humble, simple, migrant, Salesian brother,” the Rector Major began in his homily.
Then he began to sketch Zatti’s profile: he recalled the testimony he offered in 1915 at the inauguration of a monument in memory of Fr. Evasio Garrone, a central figure in his vocation, and Zatti’s phrase that today gives the motto for his canonization: “I BELIEVED, because I knew by reputation that Mary Help of Christians helped him in a visible way. I PROMISED, because it was always my desire to be of help in something to my neighbor. And, God having listened to His servant, I WAS HEALED.”
The Rector Major went on to note that “Artemide Zatti’s professional profile, which began with a promise, was rooted in trust in Providence, a great faith in the Lord, and a great love for Our Lady Help of Christians.” In all his assignments and services, “in the courtyard, on his bicycle, in his administrator’s office, in the operating room, in the courtyard, in the wards of the hospital, he was always a holy nurse dedicated to healing and relieving, bringing the best medicine: the cheerful and optimistic presence of empathy.”
Fr. Á.F. Artime remarked again on his consecration as a Salesian brother: “He found in the figure of the Salesian coadjutor the style of commitment to work directly with the poor. His religious consecration, lived out in his profession as a nurse, was the combination of his life dedicated to God and his brothers and sisters.”
Then he also emphasized his strong Marian devotion, saying, “His whole life was guided and accompanied by great Love to Our Lady. Always on his lips and in so many moments the crown in his hands, at the end of the day or before an important surgery, as those who have lived with Artemide have written.”
For this reason, the Tenth Successor of Don Bosco finally concluded, Artemide Zatti can rightly be called a “Model of a believer and Salesian coadjutor,” assuring that “he will be a holy intercessor for vocations in the Church and in the Salesian Congregation, especially in the beautiful vocation of Salesian coadjutors.”