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A 72-year-old priest who gave his respirator to a younger Covid-19 patient he did not know has died from coronavirus.

Father Giuseppe Berardelli, the main priest in the town of Casnigo, refused a respirator which had been bought for him by his parishioners and instead gave it to a younger patient.

He died last week in Lovere, Bergamo - one of the worst-hit cities in Italy’s ongoing coronavirus crisis.

“He was a simple, straightforward person, with a great kindness and helpfulness towards everyone, believers and non-believers,” Giuseppe Imberti, the mayor of Casnigo, said in a statement, according to the Italian news website Araberara.

Although there was no funeral for the priest, residents of the town reportedly applauded from their balconies as his coffin was taken for burial.

Clara Poli, the mayor of Fiorano, where Father Berardelli had been a parish priest, said he was a “great person” who was fond of his motorbike, Araberara reported.

“I remember him on his old Guzzi motorbike, he loved his motorbike, and when he was seen passing by he was always cheerful and full of enthusiasm, he gave peace and joy to our communities,” the mayor said.

At least 60 priests have died due to Covid-19 in Italy as of Tuesday morning, according to the London-based Catholic Herald newspaper.

Pope Francis led a prayer on Tuesday for doctors and priests who have died during the pandemic.

“I thank God for the heroic example they give us in caring for the sick,” the pope said.

Italy has become the country with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, surpassing China - where the virus was first identified.

More than 6,000 people in Italy have died from the disease, as of Tuesday morning, and the country has been under lockdown since 9 March. Italy has more than 63,000 cases of coronavirus.

This is why Christendom will survive.
 

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Emblematic of God's love for us, largely as the broken humanity that we are!

But there has never ever been a doubt that Christendom would fail to survive! God's immense love for us through His Son is beyond infinite!
 
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