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Friday, July 18, 2014

St. Camillus de Lellis

Ordinary Time: July 18th


St. Camillus' mother was nearly sixty years old when he was born (1550). As a youth, he gave himself to the sinful pleasures of this world. His conversion dates from the feast of the Purification, 1575. Two attempts to enter the Capuchin Order were frustrated by an incurable sore on his leg.

St. Camillus, entirely without means of existence and from his early youth suffering from an incurable wound in his foot, experienced the horrors of the Roman hospitals in the sixteenth century, in which the nursing and other staff were drawn from the dregs of the population. He effected a great change for the better; not content with making himself a slave of the sick and diseased, he established for them a congregation of Clerks Regular pledged to this work, even when it involved those suffering from the plague, and whatever their state of life or disease.

St. Camillus died in Rome on July 14, 1614. Leo XIII proclaimed him patron of hospitals and the sick, and Pius XI declared him the protector of all nuns who care for the sick. His name has been inserted in the Litany for the dying.

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