AN ITALIAN prison officer whose prompt action “almost certainly helped save the life” of the Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Revd Martin Warner — who writes the Church Times Sunday’s readings column — received a gift sent by the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, Dr Geoffrey Rowell, at a service of thanksgiving in Florence earlier this month.
The prison officer, Antonangelo Corsi, went to Bishop Warner’s assistance when he suffered a cardiac arrest on 23 August while sightseeing in Florence. Mr Corsi used resuscitation and life-saving techniques on the Bishop while waiting for paramedics to arrive (News, 27 August).
Mr Corsi and his family were invited to St Mark’s English Church, Florence — where Bishop Warner had been acting as a locum priest while its chaplain, the Revd Lawrence MacLean, was on holiday — to receive a cross sent by Bishop Rowell “as a thanksgiving for . . . [his] heroic action”, the diocese in Europe said in a statement.
Bishop Warner, who continues his recovery in England, sent a message of thanks to Mr Corsi and the congregation of St Mark’s.
Addressing the congregation, Mr Corsi said: “I think that in every important moment in our lives there exists a reason for everything, and that the presence of God is always there to be seen and interpreted. On this occasion, the meeting between Bishop Martin and I was meant to be, and subsequently has become a friendship, which I hope will grow and be long-lasting.”