Italian priest who sacrificed life for younger Covid-19 patient was "father" to OFWs
27 March 2020
The Italian priest who sacrificed his life to save a younger coronavirus patient was a father to the Filipinos in Italy, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Ruperto Santos expressed sympathy over the death of Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli, who was instrumental in the establishment of Filipino chaplaincies in northern Italy.

Berardelli, 72, made headlines after he gave up a respirator that parishioners had bought for him for the sake of a young person who he did not know.

It is with deep sorrow and great loss when I learned of the passing of Don Giancarlo Quadri because of Covid-19, Santos said.

The prelate met Berardelli when he was still in Rome as rector of Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) and, at the same time, national coordinator for the pastoral care of Filipino migrants in Italy.

Berardelli used to head the migrants ministry of the Archdiocese of Milan.

Together, we have established Filipino chaplaincies in Milan, then in Como and Bergamo, Santos said.

He was a friend and a father to our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), working hard spiritually and economically for us, the prelate said.

Santos, who chairs the bishops Commission on PCF, said that what Berardelli did was a powerful lesson of supreme act of sacrifice.

We have asked our OFWs and chaplains to remember him together with the 66 priests who perished, with Gods mercy and love, granting them eternal rest, he added.

Italian officials said 712 people died of the illness in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 8,215, while new infections to 80,689.

Learning what is happening in Italy, let us not forget our OFWs and their loved ones here. We pray for them and help their families, Santos said.

By Roy Lagarde
March 27, 2020
Manila, Philippines

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