“No greater love than giving your life for your neighbor,” says the Bible text accompanying the Twitter message of a New York colleague of Berardelli. According to the hospital, the priest from Casnigo refused the ventilator and chose to hand it over to a young man he didn’t know, but was in worse shape than himself. He passed away this week.
Residents of the place where he served for fourteen years praise his ‘eternal smile’ and his ‘helpfulness’. Both for believers and non-believers, reports the local news site Araberara.it. “He was loved by everyone,” said Casnigo Mayor Giuseppe Imberti. “Even former parishioners still visited him after years. He was the priest everyone loves. “
Although Berardelli already had health complaints last year, he was not unafraid. He continued to help others and was committed to society. He himself said he always wanted to die ‘in the field’ and he would have succeeded if it were not for the corona virus that got in the way of that selfless desire.
Berardelli’s death has a profound impact on the inhabitants of Casigno. “I was deeply moved by the fact that he gave his life, by giving the respirator to a younger person,” said a local retirement home worker. “This is a glimpse into the soul of someone who has won everyone’s hearts.” There was no funeral ceremony for the generous church father, but the residents of Casnigo applauded from windows and balconies as his coffin passed.