Saint Camillus of Lellis
May 25, 1550, Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, kingdom of Naples, Italy-July 14, 1614, Genoa, Italy
He was the son of a military officer who had served both for Naples and France. His mother died when Camillus was very young. He spent his youth as a soldier, fighting for the Venetians against the Turks, and then for Naples. He was reported to be a large individual, perhaps as tall as 6′6″ (2 metres), and powerfully built, but he suffered all his life from abscesses on his feet. A gambling addict, he lost so much he had to take a job working construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins who converted him.
Camillus entered the Capuchin noviate three times, but a nagging leg injury, received while fighting the Turks, each time forced him to give it up. He went to Rome, Italy for medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. He moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator. Lacking education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old. A Priest, who founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick (the Camellians or Fathers of a Good Death) who, naturally, care for the sick both in hospital and home. The Order expanded with houses in several countries. Camillus honoured the sick as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth. Reported to have the gifts of miraculous healing and prophecy.
Beatified April 7, 1742 By Benedict XIV.
Canonized June 29, 1746 by Benedict XIV.