Hundreds venerate St. Camillus’ heart in relic’s Cebu visit
FOR the first time, the heart of St. Camillus De Lellis visited Cebu for public veneration especially of the sick.
Placed in a glass case, the St. Camillus relic arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport last Friday. It was brought to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral where a welcome Mass was celebrated by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Emilio Bataclan.
Hundreds of people lined up to touch the glass case containing the saint’s relics.
In an interview, Fr. Rolly Fernandez of the Order of the Ministries of the Infirm said St. Camillus’ heart was taken an hour after his death on July 14, 1614.
Fernandez said the heart, which is a “symbol of love” was then preserved.
“Why heart? Because he (Lellis) was loving and caring for the sick. Everyone should be reminded to love especially the sick,” he told reporters.
PATRON OF THE SICK
St. Camillus is the patron of the sick, hospitals, nurses, and healthcare workers.
“He saw in the sick his love for God. You have to see Christ in the sick,” Fernandez said.
From the cathedral, St. Camillus’ relics was brought to the Daughters of St. Camillus Convent Chapel in Talamban, Cebu City. It was later transported to the Daughters of St. Camillus Novitiate House and Night Vigil.
Yesterday, the relic was brought to the San Isidro Parish in Talamban before it was brought back to the airport.
Fernandez said the relic has visited Manila, Baguio, and Iloilo before it came to Cebu. He said it will remain in the country until March.
After the Philippines, the relic will be brought to Rome.
St. Camillus was born on May 25, 1550 at Bucchianico in Italy. He was the son of an impoverished nobleman. St. Camillus became a soldier.
However, he turned into a “incorrigible gambler.”
In 1575, he was converted to God and became a servant and later an assistant of St. James’ Hospital for incurables in Rome where he had been a patient with an ulcerated leg and rapture that impeded him his whole life.
St. Camillus was ordined priest in 1584 and obtained approval for the congregation of priests he foudned.
He devoted his life to hospital service. He insisted on the utmost care for both the soul and the body of his patients.
Though his health eventually worsened, he exhausted himself for charity.
St. Camillus died on July 14, 1614. He was canonized in 1746./Reporter Ador Vincent S. Mayol
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