Saint Camillus of Lellis – Saint of the Day -July 14

Saint Camillus of Lellis Biography

Saint Camillus of Lellis was born on 25 May 1550 to a Military father in Naples, Italy. His father had worked for both France and Italy. Camillus’ mother died when he was young and spent his youth as a soldier in his home town.

He, however, lost his leg in the battle fields. This did not disturb him so much that he could not carry on with life. Like any other person, he worked hard in everything he did. He was a gambling addict and so he could rush to the betting tables often. He is reported to be a masculine individual and would take the job at a construction site owned by the Capuchins whenever he lost in betting. The Capuchins later converted him. They inspired him and sought admission to the order. His unhealing leg wound would not allow the Capuchins to consider him.

Saint Camillus
Saint Camillus

He then moved to Rome, Italy to work in hospitals caring for the sick where he was previously a patient. He was however rejected by the morally deprived nurses and the lack of Spiritual care for the patients in the hospital. Camillus decided to look for an alternative mission. His spiritual director, St. Philip Neri inspired him to start an institution of consecrated men who would work closely with the sick for the love of Christ. They started their service at the Holy Spirit Hospital on River Tiber, near the Vatican, where they got credit for excellent medical care.

While on the mission, he attended seminary and later was ordained a priest in 1584 AD. With time, more men joined the Congregation and opened new houses across the country. The Order of Clerks Regular simply known as Camillians was approved in 1591 AD by the Pope. Not long after the approval, he got sick.

Saint Camillus of Lellis Death

Camillus died of his continued ailments on 14 July 1614 at Genoa, Italy. Soon after his death, two specialists from the Holy Spirit Hospital began examining his body. They cut through his chest and found that his heart was big and extremely red. He was already considered a saint. However, he was canonized on 29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV.

Patronage

  • Abruzzi, Italy
  • Against bodily ills
  • Against sickness
  • Hospitals
  • Hospital workers
  • Sick people (proclaimed on 22 June 22, 1886, by Pope Leo XIII)
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