St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest | Saint of the Day | July18

Prayer to St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest

God, You adorned St. Camillus, Your Priest, with the singular grace of charity toward the sick. By his merits, pour forth the Spirit of Your love into us, so that by serving You in our brothers here on earth we may safely come to You at the hour of death. Amen.

St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest

St. Camillus was born in 1550, in a small town of the Kingdom of Naples. In his youth he became a soldier and for some time led a wayward life. He lost so much in gaming that he was forced to work as a laborer on a building belonging to the Capuchins. An exhortation made to him by the guardian of the convent touched him, and he resolved to change his conduct.

The saint now begged to be admitted into the Order, but Divine Providence willed otherwise. Twice he received the Capuchin habit, but he was obliged each time to leave the novitiate, as he could not be admitted to profession on account of an ulcer on one of his legs. He later went to Rome and entered the Hospital of Incurables, and after some time was appointed its administrator. Regarding himself as the servant of the sick, he rendered them the most humiliating services.

At the age of thirty-two St. Camillus undertook to study, beginning the first elements of grammar with the children. Ordained a priest, he laid the foundation of the Congregation of Regular Clerics to administer to the sick. He had obstacles to encounter, but he triumphed over them all and succeeded in obtaining from the Apostolic See the approbation of his Institute.

Henceforth the Saint’s life was devoted to the sick and dying, and after his death this work was continued by the Order he had founded. St. Camillus had as confessor St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory, who preceded him to the tomb. St. Camillus was endowed by God with the spirit of prophecy and other supernatural gifts. He died on July 14, 1614, and was canonized in 1764 by Pope Benedict XIV.