There will undoubtedly be countless stories which emerge following the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. But perhaps none will be better than that of Don Giuseppe Berardelli. Berardelli was a 72 year-old priest serving a parish in Casnigo, Italy. As one of the hardest hit areas in the country, local hospitals had simply run out of respirators.
Berardelli was among the unfortunate souls to contract the deadly virus. However, because he had an underlying respiratory illness, he was also in possession of his own respiratory – a gift from his loving parish! Because his parishioners had provided for him, all he need do was continue to use their gift and he likely would have ridden out his illness. Certainly those who loved him wanted him to do just that.
However Berardelli did the unthinkable – instead of using his personal respirator to save his own life, he gave it to a much younger man who had also contracted the virus. That man lived, Berardelli died on March 15, 2020.
While much of the world hoarded things like bread and toilet paper, one man gave away the one thing that could have saved his life. You see, fear takes; but love gives. History will not remember the hoarders, but it will remember the givers; and if history doesn’t remember, God will!
Friends, the world has always needed more givers; all the more so during times like these. Will you be a giver or a taker? What will control you – fear or love? –Dave
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
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