Italian Priest Gives Up Respirator for Another in Need, Dies

By Nancy Flory Published on March 24, 2020

Unfortunately, this story has proven to be inaccurate, according to a story by the Catholic News Agency. The priest’s friends believe he was a kind and loving man who would have given up a respirator to save someone else’s life, but he didn’t actually do that. We apologize for running the story. We want good news and didn’t check the story closely enough.


Sometime during the night of Sunday, March 15, a priest in northern Italy died quietly. But his death speaks loudly of his Lord. For this priest had given up his respirator to save another. 

Don Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, lived in the village of Casnigo and served the parish of San Giovanni Battista. (“Don” is a title of respect for priests.) A health worker from San Giuseppe told the newspaper Araberara that Don Giuseppe gave up his respirator that he needed to stay alive — in fact, a respirator his parish community had purchased for him. He gave it up so it could go to a younger person in need. 

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The priest’s death is a reminder that during this pandemic we should all be looking out for others in need. 

1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” In John 15:13, Jesus told his disciples to love one another as he loved them. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

May we all stay in good health during this time of uncertainty in the world. Let us love one another and think of others first. May we let Don Giuseppe’s example inspire us to live out Jesus’ instructions to us. May we — like Don Giuseppe Berardelli — be God’s love to others and a shining example of the hope that we have in Christ.


Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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