One of three sons born to Albino Vecchi and Luigi Zatti. Artemide
Zatti's was a poor family, and the boy had to drop out of school
at age nine to work for a wealthy neighbor. The family eventually
immigrated to Bahia Blanca, Argentina to find work, arriving in
Buenos Aires on 9 February 1897. There Artemide worked in a tile
factory, and attended a local parochial school run by the Salesians.
He felt drawn to the Salesians, and at age 20 entered their seminary,
Casa di Bernal, as a consecrated layman.
Artemide contracted tuberculosis while caring for a young Salesian
priest with the disease, a man who died from it in 1902. He was
sent to San Josè Hospital for what little treatment there
was in that day, but with little hope. With his friend and unofficial
doctor, Father Evarisio Garrone, Artemide prayed for the intervention
of Our Lady, Help of Christians, offering to dedicate his life
to the care of the sick; the young Salesian was miraculously and
He kept his promise. He worked in the San Jose pharmacy, and
learned about hospital management from Father Garrone. Upon his
mentor's death, Artemide took charge of the hospital, and what
time he could spare from his administrative duty was spent caring
for patients. Today the hospital is now named in his honour.