Wednesday 17th August 2022

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Camillus De Lellis

July 15, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

While most people in the United States associate a red cross on a white field as the symbol of the International Red Cross organization, it was actually used by a Catholic priest several hundred years before Henry Dunant helped found the Red Cross. Perhaps Dunant knew of Camillus De Lellis and the work he did to help the sick who suffered so much in the hospitals of his time, when the future saint founded the Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Sick in the late 16th century.
How did a man of worldly pursuits end up as a saint? Like a few other saints, he hit rock bottom from which the only place to go is up. Camillus was born in 1550 at Bocchianico, Abruzzi, located opposite Rome on the east coast of Italy.
Historians speculate that he became an impetuous man partly because his mother was nearly 50 years of age when he was born, thus lacking the energy to keep up with a recalcitrant son — she died when he was only 12 years old. The difficulty could have developed because he grew quickly in size, finally reaching a height of 6 feet 6 inches.
As a teen he joined his father with the Venetian forces that went to fight the Turks in 1567. He most likely developed further vices during this time, such as gambling. His service did not last more than a few years as a result of a disease that developed in his leg, a disease that would afflict him for the rest of his life. In 1571, the same year as the defeat of the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto, Camillus entered the San Giacomo hospital for incurables in Rome where he became both patient and servant.
By 1574, at the age of 24, De Lellis had been released from the hospital and traveled to Naples. While there, he claimed he was a man of great evil. It seems his greatest vice was excessive gambling, which was not only against Church teaching but also against the civil law banning reckless games of chance.
His addiction had left him destitute. He lost his fortune, including the very shirt off his back. Brought to such poverty, he joined the Franciscans, something he had vowed to do before but had never fulfilled. He joined the Capuchins of Manfredonia — about 125 miles down the east coast of Italy from Abruzzi — where he became a laborer.
While there his conversion to a virtuous life following Christ was strengthened and confirmed by the Capuchins. Sadly, his wound refused to heal. The leaders of the order had to deny him entrance to their community because of the incurable affliction. After leaving them, he returned to Rome and went once again to the hospital San Giacomo to care for the patients.
So great were his gentleness, charity, and skill that the heads of the hospital made him superintendent. While working, he continued his penances and spiritual observances, taking St. Philip Neri as his spiritual director.
Camillus saw that the patients were poorly cared for by the inability to get qualified persons to assist at the hospital. Even the ones that the hospital had employed were former criminals. Dissatisfied with the level of care the sick were receiving, Camillus decided to found an order whose members would dedicate themselves to the sick and suffering.
With the approval of Neri, he received funding from a sponsor to complete his seminary studies. Those who ran the hospital, however, tried to thwart his every move to change. Disgruntled with their apathetic attitude toward the sick, and against the advice of Philip Neri, he and his associates left San Giacomo and went to the Holy Ghost hospital to begin anew with their care of the sick.
As the saying goes, “If you are not being persecuted, you must not be doing God’s will.” De Lellis must have been doing God’s will, since he once again met with considerable opposition. Needless to say, he persevered with his brother servants in making beds, washing wounds, and preparing the patients for a happy death in the arms of Holy Mother Church.
In 1585, having accomplished so much by the age of 35, Camillus employed a larger house to accommodate the growing numbers of men joining in the work. With the advent of the plague, these men served fearlessly and tirelessly to care for the sick and dying.
The people of Naples, the city where he had reached the bottom, requested that he return to help their sick. He went to Naples with 12 associates and founded a new house. When galleys arrived and they were not allowed to land because they carried passengers with the plague, he and his men went out to the ships to care for the men. Two of his men died, giving their lives for the sick.
Three years later he went back to Rome where Pope Gregory XIV approved his congregation as a religious order. The men continued to serve the sick and suffering during the years when disease and famine were sweeping through Rome.
War again loomed on the horizon as hostilities broke out in Hungary and Croatia. St. Camillus and his followers rushed to tend the injured soldiers, marking the beginning of the first military field ambulance. The tent in which the Camillians tended the soldiers suffered an attack and was burnt to the ground, killing two of the men. All that survived the attack was a habit having a white cloth with the red cross sewn on it; the cloth symbolized their work done in the name of God.
This emblem became the mark of the order founded by St. Camillus.
Camillus continued to serve the sick as superior of his order, despite the persistent pain in his leg, until 1607. He then stepped down to serve as vicar. His desire to serve the suffering was so strong that he resorted to crawling to help the sick because he could no longer walk. His order had spread throughout Italy and Hungary by the time of his death in 1614.
He died in 1614 after receiving the final anointing and giving his men his last words of advice. Although he died on July 14, since the United States celebrates the feast of Kateri Tekakwitha on July 14, his memorial is celebrated on July 18. His remains are in the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome.
Dear St. Camillus, assist all those who are suffering from war and famine in this world. By your intercession, we pray, especially assist the health-care workers in our country to hold true to the will of God in preserving life and saving souls. Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. Mrs. Breslin’s articles have appeared in Homiletic & Pastoral Review and in the Marian Catechist Newsletter. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

This Past Week in The Wanderer . . .

">

Are We Blundering into a Military Conflict with China? The Left Wants to Abolish Everything . . . The House Just Voted to Abolish and Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act!

Today . . .

Toyota Sponsors Lesson on ‘First Steps’ of Drag Artistry for Children

Toyota sponsored an event for “LGBTQ+ Youth” that featured a performance from a drag performer and a workshop on “the first steps of becoming a fabulous drag performer.” The event, called “Models of Pride,” was hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and was intended for those 24 years and younger. No minimum age was listed on the website. The Los Angeles LGBT Center described it as “the world’s largest free conference for LGBTQ+ youth…Continue Reading

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb Signs Abortion Ban to Protect Unborn Babies

The Indiana legislature has become the first in the nation to pass an abortion ban after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. The measure went to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who signed the bill into law almost immediately on Friday night. Earlier today, the Indiana state House approved a bill to ban most abortions and tonight the state Senate voted to confirm the changes to the initial bill 28-19. With Holcomb’s signature, the law will go…Continue Reading

Southern Maryland parish forbidden to offer traditional Latin Mass after investing in quarter million dollar renovation and decoration for the purpose

Nightmare and heartbreak. Parishioners of Saint Francis de Sales in Benedict, Maryland, devoted to the Church’s traditional worship, installed a new pine floor, painted altars and gradines, hung chandeliers and lamps, and painted a monumental mural. And more. After an extensive professional renovation and painting of the church’s entire 100-year-old plaster interior walls and ceiling. 

Bishop urges Catholic educators to see importance of the Eucharist

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Addressing Catholic educators at an annual national conference, Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington, urged them to make sure their work was always rooted in the importance of the Eucharist. The bishop, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, said schoolteachers should help their students more deeply appreciate the sacrament amid the current National Eucharistic Revival.

” A Misunderstanding” ?BISHOPS WILL ALLOW LESBIAN TO FOSTER A CHILD

From The Washington Post:  An unmarried lesbian will be allowed to foster a child after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) let a lawsuit alleging discrimination go unchallenged, suggesting single LGBTQ adults may be able to foster through Catholic organizations while same-sex couples generally continue to be banned.

Bloodlust

By CINDY PASLAWSKI Back when my husband was in boot camp in early 1970, his group of draftees was being trained for combat. Bayonet practice was particularly onerous to him. With every thrust, the guys were told to yell, “To kill! To kill!”The anti-Roe v Wade privacy decision protests swirling continuously around our nation remind…Continue Reading

1 In 10 U.S. Households In 2019 Worth More Than $1.3 Million

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY Ten percent of the households in this country at the end of 2019 — just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit — had a net wealth of more than $1.3 million, according to a report published last month by the Census Bureau.There were also definite patterns among households that had higher wealth…Continue Reading

The FBI Doesn’t Seem To Care Enough To Explain Their Trump Raid

By NEIL PATEL From the moment Donald Trump came down the escalator to formally step onto the political stage, America’s leading establishment figures have misjudged what was happening. Most still refuse to think deeply about what drove such massive popularity for Trump. Some of it was his focus on issues, such as extended wars in…Continue Reading

“The Viruses Among Us”

By BARBARA SIMPSON Have you grown tired of it yet? The news — radio, TV, print, Internet, and whatever else there might be — has been filled lately with information about and warnings against the monkeypox virus.To read what is being reported, you would think that monkeypox is the only virus that humans have to…Continue Reading

Who Won The Taiwan War Games?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied White House signals that she not stop in Taiwan on her valedictory tour of Asian capitals, she ignited the worst diplomatic U.S.-China row in decades.And how did last week’s collision turn out for the United States?Writes The New York Times:Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan began…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

You Can’t Take It With You… But You Can Send It On Ahead

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on July 30 and it is reprinted here with permission. Because of the essay’s length, we are presenting it in two parts. The first part appeared in last week’s issue.) + + The Illusion of Wealth — The parable goes on to say, And [the man]…Continue Reading

Least Of The Least

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 66:18-21Heb. 12:5-7, 11-13Luke 13:22-30 At the end of the Gospel reading today our Lord says something that is simultaneously hopeful and terrifying. He tells us that some who are first will be last and some who are last will be first. For those of us who more…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. The Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium (n. 36) says that Latin is to be preserved in the Roman Rite, and it goes on to say that the people should be taught to sing or say in Latin the parts of the Mass pertaining to them. So, is there anything wrong with softly saying those parts of the Mass in…Continue Reading

The Freedom To Be Catholic

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK News of my parish’s imminent demise in the wake of the death-dealing Traditionis custodes has spread through the Internet and at least one Catholic video news source of the independent sort. Many of the so-called “official” sources like to pretend we don’t exist.One news outlet used a video of mine about a transgender children’s story…Continue Reading

You Can’t Take It With You… But You Can Send It On Ahead

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on July 30 and it is reprinted here with permission. Because of the essay’s length, we are presenting it in two parts. The second part will appear in next week’s issue.) + + Five teachings on wealth from the Gospel of the 18th Sunday of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Therese Of The Little Flower

By DEB PIROCH “Let us accept all from the hand of our good Father, and He will keep us in peace in the midst of the greatest disasters of this world, which pass away like shadows. In proportion to our abandonment and confidence in God will our lives be holy and tranquil. And where this abandonment is neglected, there can…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Michael, Slayer Of Dragons

By DEB PIROCH Where there is evil, there is the Devil, and where there is good, there is God. It is high time for the world to make this connection in an era when the family unit is rapidly dying, leading to all sorts of destruction. Some children don’t even know their parents, angry teens engage in gang violence, and…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)