Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dusting off the soul...

... I was sick and you looked after me ... Matthew 25:36c

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"St Camillus de Lellis never celebrated Holy Mass without first going to Confession, because he wanted at least "to dust off" his soul.  Once at sundown in a public square in Livorno, before taking leave of a priest of the same religious order, foreseeing that he would not have a priest to confess to on the following morning before his Mass, the Saint paused, took off his hat, made the sign of the Cross and went to Confession right there in the square to his confrere."

From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love (pg 32)
by Fr Stefano M Manelli, FFI

St Camillus de Lellis
Italy ~ 1550-1614
Encouraged to priesthood by St Philip Neri
Founder of Order: Fathers of Good Death
Patron of hospitals, nurses and the sick
FEAST DAY - July 18

The Camellians took the vow to "devote themselves to material and spiritual care of the sick and needy". St. Camillus honored the poor and sick as living images of Christ. His reverence in their presence was as great as if he were really and truly in the presence of his Lord.

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 “The poor and the sick are the heart of God. In serving them,
we serve Jesus the Christ. ...We want to assist the sick
with the same love that a mother has for her only sick child."
 -  Saint Camillus de Lellis

The figure on this crucifix, which is venerated in the Church of Mary Magdalene in Rome, is the one which in 1582 detached its arm and comforted St.Camillus de Lellis with these words "Take Courage, faint-hearted one. Continue the work you have begun. I will be with you because it is my work." Camillus was very discouraged at the time because of opposition to his health care reforms. Our Lord's words were instrumental in the Saint pushing ahead and founding the Order of the Ministers of the Sick.

Crucifix image above from Miraculous Images of Our Lord, by Joan Carroll Cruz, TAN Books (1993)

St Camillus, pray for us!

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