(ANS – Boretto) – An altar was dedicated on Sunday, March 21, to Blessed Artemides Zatti (1880-1951) in the village of Boretto, Italy, birthplace of the Salesian brother honored the “Good Samaritan of Patagonia.”
Present at the celebration in the parish church of St. Mark were the mayor, local council members, the pastor Fr. Gianfranco Caleffi, the artist responsible, Ivan Cantoni, representatives of the Salesians and the past pupils of the Salesian house in Parma, and a large and devout group of youngsters and of the faithful.
The postulator general of the Salesian Family, Fr. Enrico dal Covolo, presided at Mass and blessed the statue of Blessed Artemides Zatti above the altar. Standing beside a poor boy, Blessed Artemides is wearing a white coat representing his role as nurse, pharmacist, and founder of a great institution for the care of the sick. In his right hand he is holding a copy of the gospels, indicating that his dedication to the sick and the suffering was not the result of mere altruism but came from a deep Christian and Gospel spirit sustained, in addition to his faith, by a constant reading and meditation of the Scriptures.
“In my work I tried to interpret and reflect the guidelines provided by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments regarding sacred images,” Mr. Cantoni said. “In fact I maintain that when an artist is working on something for a sacred place, the main aim of his work should not be an expression of his own personal taste but rather the transmission in a formal and traditionally correct manner of the theological and devotional features of the subject being represented.”
A normal day for Blessed Artemides Zatti was described as follows: “Up at 4:30. Meditation and Mass. Visiting all the wards in the hospital in Viedma, which he had established and managed. Then on his bicycle, visiting the sick around the city. After lunch a vigorous game of boccie with those recovering. Between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. visiting the sick again. Until 8:00 p.m. working in the pharmacy. Another visit to the hospital. Until 11:00 p.m. medical studies; finally spiritual reading. Then to bed, and always on call.”