BIS #6816 In Gratitude for Saint Zatti

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

On the evening of 21 October 2022, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, celebrated a thanksgiving Eucharist for the gift of Saint Artemide Zatti to the Salesian Congregation. Fr Biju Michael, the General Councillor for South Asia, concelebrated the Mass along with around 100 INB Salesian priests.

Over 350 youth who had gathered for SYMBIOS 2022, Salesian Sisters, and lay faithful were present for this Solemn Eucharist which was solemnised with melodious singing by the youth of Don Bosco Youth Services, Matunga.

During his homily, Fr Á.F. Artime highlighted the important moments in the life of Artemide Zatti. When poverty forced his family to migrate from Italy to Argentina, 17 year old Zatti frequented the Salesian parish at Bahia Blanca. Inspired by the life of Don Bosco, Zatti asked to enter the Salesian aspirantate at Bernal, near Buenos Aires.

In 1902, when it was time to enter the novitiate, because of his reliability, he was entrusted with the task of assisting a young priest suffering from tuberculosis. Zatti carried out the work with generosity, but soon afterwards caught the same disease himself. In order to recuperate, Fr Cavalli sent him to Viedma, entrusting him to the care of Fr Evasio Garrone, who was the director of the San José hospital. It was during this time, Artemides asked to be cured through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary by making a vow to dedicate his life to caring for the sick. On recovering from tuberculosis he said: I believed, I promised, I was healed.

Fr Á.F. Artime invited the young people to be persons of great faith. Earlier he had mentioned that ‘Salesians are born for youth’, and he is happy to see the youth, most of whom have come from far off places to be here.

Fr Á.F. Artime had arrived late the previous night and was welcomed by the Provincial and his team at the airport. Upon his arrival at the Provincial House, he was greeted by the members of the Provincial House community and other Salesians. The following morning, he met the Provincial Council and in the afternoon he addressed the Rectors of the institutions of the Province.

Fr Á.F. Artime celebrated the Holy Eucharist with the Rectors on 22 October at 0900 hours. He then participated in a cultural programme wherein he witnessed the beauty of the cultures of the Province through various cultural dances. He then interacted with the youth; answering their questions patiently. The programme culminated with a special performance by the Rector Major which indeed struck a chord with the young people.

Fr Á.F. Artime will now proceed to Don Bosco, Nerul, for the inauguration of a new wing. On 23 October, he will be in Lonavla for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.