By Christina Hermoso
The Roman Catholic Church will honor tomorrow the life and works of the universal patron of hospitals, nurses, doctors, and the sick – Saint Camillus (San Camilo) de Lellis, the revered founder of the Order of Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick.
Commemorative masses in honor of the Italian monk will be held in several Catholic churches in many parts of the world, including the Philippines, where he is well venerated.
In 2013, his sacred relic – the preserved heart of St. Camillus – was brought to the country as part of a pilgrim tour in celebration of his 400th death anniversary which was observed in 2016.
Every year, on his feast day, pilgrims and devotees gather at his major shrine, the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome, Italy, where he was buried, and where several of his relics are kept, to light candles and make special offerings.
A dedicated priest, confessor, and miracle worker, St. Camillus and his followers cared and treated the sick as “living images of Christ” and considered serving the sick as serving God. He was bestowed with the gifts of healing and prophecy.
Born in 1550 in Chietti, Italy, he died in 1614, and was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.