Facing adversity

The garden was designed to rest patients and make them think about something other than their own illness.


Love with humor


Being attentive to the needs of others


Facing adversity


Zatti and Ceferino


Zatti creates community

One of the scenes studied for the moment of the eviction of the hospital is the one where the camera approaches the moment when debris falls on the roses in the garden.

The story of the garden of San José Hospital has as its protagonist the nurses who collaborated with Zatti on a voluntary basis, and who with great effort had put together the garden. Their interest responded to the reality of the hospital, since they directed the patients there so that they could relax and sunbathe. A place to make them rest and think about something other than their own illness.

For many of the sick, that garden would have meant a salvific place and moment. Somehow, it connected and symbolically represented all the gestures of charity and care towards them from Zatti and his team of collaborators.

It was not just another garden. Nor was it a botanical garden. It was much more than that. It was the condensation of love, which would now be seen among the rubble. How did this happen?

In his biography of Artemide Zatti, Father Raúl Entraigas tells us the story of the eviction of the hospital. It was preceded by a need that occured in those years: to give a place of residence to the new bishop of Viedma with the team of his immediate collaborators. In fact, the diocese had already been established in 1934, and since then, Monsignor Esandi and his people had been living in the former Mary Help of Christians school.

This is how Father Entraigas tells us:


In 1936, the General Prefect of the Congregation, Don Pedro Berruti, arrived from Turin. He came with the mission of preparing an agreement to distribute the goods that the Salesian Society had, some of which, having been acquired intuihl Ecclesiae, naturally belonged to the new diocese. The superior, in agreement with Monsignor Esandi and his advisors, prepared the agreement. Among the assets listed as belonging to the bishopric was the land where the hospital was located.

In the meantime, engineers, builders and workers from the National General Directorate of Architecture arrived to begin the construction of the new bishopric. The site had to be left empty.

Zatti until the last, hoped for a miracle ,
but God wanted the miracle of his sacrifice,
abnegation and obedience… and that did happen.

“I saw him cry like a child,” says one of the priests who was by his side during those hours of ordeal. Zatti had nowhere to take his patients. The masons were already starting the demolition and the patients were still in the hospital. Poor Zatti was in a daze during those days (…) It seemed to him that every blow of the pickaxe hit him in the heart. He went, came, went again and came again: he was disoriented: he did not know what he was doing.

The last patients left under the dust of the first collapsing walls of the hospital. The architectural workers did not know what it was all about. They received orders to demolish and demolished.

The rose hit with those rubble thrown with indifference makes us present Zatti who sees his life hit. His charity is slapped by circumstances.

Anger, anguish, indignation. Zatti is no stranger to this, like any person going through an unjust and painful situation. There is a time for everything. But there is also time to start again.

In the face of adversity, Zatti responds with prayer, work and community, without ever losing sight of what is most important: not the hospital walls, but the possibility of continuing to accompany the poor and the sick.