Saint John Bosco has inspired thousands of people, young and old, priests, brothers, sisters and lay people, to strive for holiness in their lives. The Church has recognised many of them as outstanding in holiness and deserving the titles of Saint, Blessed, Venerable or Servant of God.
Saint Artemide Zatti 1880-1951
Salesian lay-brother Artemide Zatti, was a child of poor Italian immigrants who settled in Argentina hoping for a better life. He had only been able to attend elementary school as he was working as a day-labourer to help support his family by the time we was 9 years old. When he acted on his call to become a Salesian, he was greatly challenged by his studies.
Another difficulty came when, as a novice, he contracted TB from a young priest he was looking after. In the hope of a cure in the pure air of the Andes, he travelled to Viedma, where he found his true vocation, working alongside Fr Evaristo Garrone, a Salesian doctor who ran a pharmacy and hospital, and never turned away those who could not pay.
Working as a pharmacist for many years, St Artemides also trained as a nurse, and devoted himself to his patients. After the death of his mentor, he took on responsibility for the entire hospital. He could be seen cycling to visit patients each morning, and worked tirelessly in the hospital for the rest of each day.
At his beatification in 2002, St John Paul II said: 'Blessed Artemide lived what St John Bosco said to the first Salesians leaving for America: "Take special care of the sick, the children, the elderly, the poor, and you will receive God's blessing and the respect of those around you".'
He died of cancer on 15 March 1951. His nephew, Fr Fr Juan Edmundo Vecchi SDB, became the 8th successor of Don Bosco as Rector Major.
He was canonised on 9th October 2022 by Pope Francis.
His memorial is celebrated on 13 November.
For more biographical information and downloadable resources, visit sdb.org