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Priest, 72, dies after giving up ventilator to younger coronavirus patient in Italy

An Italian priest made the ultimate sacrifice, hoping to save the life of someone younger than him in a battle with the novel coronavirus.

Don Giuseppe Berardelli gave up a respirator that parishioners had purchased for him in the weeks leading up to his death, according to Italian publication TgCom24.

While it seems he didn’t know whom it would go to, he gave it up in hopes of saving someone else’s life.

“He died after testing positive for coronavirus, but also because he chose to sacrifice himself for another person,” the site reports. “Don Giuseppe Berardelli … renounced the respirator he needed and that his parish community had purchased just for him.”

“And he did it so that respirator could go to someone else. Someone younger, but ill like him. Someone who didn’t even know.”

Berardelli, 72, had been archpriest of San Giovanni Battista parish since 2006, the publication says.

He died in a local hospital in Lovere, where he was being hospitalized for health problems.

James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor of America Mag, shared his condolences for the late priest on Twitter.

“He is a ‘Martyr of Charity,’ a saint like St. Maximilian Kolbe, who in Auschwitz volunteered to take the place of a condemned man with a family, and was killed,” Martin wrote.

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