Now, due to the coronavirus outbreak, clusters of coffins arrive day by day and are laid on the chilly marble ground of St. Joseph’s Church.
“Authorities didn’t know where to put the coffins,” stated Carminati, 64, the senior priest in Seriate, a tranquil, middle-class riverside city of 25,000 individuals in northern Italy.
When sufficient have collected, he and others monks give them a hasty blessing after which a forklift masses them on to military vans to cemeteries and crematoria.
Gatherings have been banned all through Italy due to a nationwide lockdown so church funerals can’t be held.
Seriate is in Bergamo province, the toughest hit in Italy’s northern Lombardy area and the epicenter of the outbreak.
With the nationwide demise toll topping 9,000 on Friday, Italy has suffered nearly twice as many deaths as every other nation.
The priest stated the saddest factor for him was that a lot of his parishioners died alone, with out family members, as a result of restrictions in place to stem the unfold of the virus don’t enable members of the family into hospitals.
“We often talk about the most needy and these are truly the most needy now,” he stated exterior the church after blessing about 40 coffins together with a youthful priest, Father Marcello Crotti.
“They are the most needy even though they are no longer alive. No one has the time or opportunity to take care of them anymore so I decided to open the house of the Lord to them,” Carminati stated.
It’s a brief keep. After Carminati and Crotti blessed the most recent batch of coffins on Saturday, military troops in protecting gear loaded them onto 5 vans coated by camouflaged tarps.
Bells tolled because the vans left the church and residents trying down from home windows and balconies made the signal of the cross.
Because the caravan crossed an intersection, a city policeman carrying a medical masks and white gloves stood at consideration and saluted.