Today is the Feast Day of St. Camillus de Lellis.
Here’s what you need to know...
Camillus de Lellis was born on May 25th, 1550 in Italy. His mother died when he was young and his father neglected him.
Camillus entered the military at 16, but after a number of years of military service, his regiment was disbanded. Having gambled away all his possessions, De Lellis took work at a nearby Capuchin monastery.
Despite his aggressive nature and excessive gambling, his heart was penetrated by the friars and he had a religious conversion in 1575.
He then entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars. However, a leg wound he received while in the army would not heal, and was declared incurable by the physicians, thus he was denied admission to that Order.
He then moved to Rome where he entered the San Giacomo Hospital, which cared for incurable cases. He himself became both a patient and caregiver at the hospital, and later it's Superintendent.
He followed a strict ascetic life, performing many penances, such as constant wearing of a hairshirt.
With the advice of his friend and confessor Saint Philip Neri, he studied for the priesthood and was ordained at the age of 34.
De Lellis then established his own Congregation, the Order of Clerks Regular, Ministers to the Sick—better known as the Camillians. The large, red cross on their cassock remains a symbol of the Congregation today.
Camillus died in Rome in 1614, and was entombed at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
Camillus was beatified by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742, and canonized by him four years later in 1746.
St. Camillus is the Patron Saint of the sick, hospitals, nurses, physicians, and people addicted to gambling.
St. Camillus de Lellis, ora pro nobis!
Happy Feast Day everybody.