Posted in INCORRUPTIBLES, PATRONAGE - CHARITABLE SOCIETIES, PATRONAGE - HOSPITALS, NURSES, NURSING ASSOCIATIONS, PATRONAGE - LOST KEYS/LOST ARTICLES, PATRONAGE - PRISONERS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 September – St Vincent de Paul CM (1581-1660) Confessor

Saint of the Day – 27 September – St Vincent de Paul CM (1581-1660) Confessor, known as the  “Great Apostle of Trumpets” – Priest, Founder, Apostle of Charity, Doctor of Canon Law, Reformer of Society and Priests, founder of Hospital and Orphanages.   Born on 24 April 1581 near Ranquine, Gascony near Dax, southwest France – the Town is now known as Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Landes, France  and died on  27 September 1660 at Paris, France of natural causes.   His body was found incorrupt when exhumed in 1712 and the incorrupt heart is displayed in a reliquary in the Chapel of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in Paris.  St Vincent was Beatified on 13 August 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII and Canonised on 16 June 1737 by Pope Clement XII.   Patronages – lepers; against leprosy, all charitable societies (given on 12 May 1885 by Pope Leo XIII),  charitable workers; volunteers, horses, hospital workers, hospitals, lost articles, prisoners, for spiritual help, Madagascar, Brothers of Charity, Richmond, Virginia, diocese of, Saint Vincent de Paul Societies, Sisters of Charity, Vincentian Service Corps.   Attributes – 16th century cleric performing some act of charity, cleric carrying an infant, priest surrounded by the Sisters of Charity, cannon ball and sword (referring to prisoners of war he ransomed).

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St Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580.  He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs.   Such had been his progress in four years that a gentleman chose him as subpreceptor to his children and he was thus enabled to continue his studies without being a burden to his parents.
In 1596, he went to the University of Toulouse for theological studies, and there he was ordained priest in 1600.

In 1605, on a voyage by sea from Marseilles to Narbonne, he fell into the hands of African pirates and was carried as a slave to Tunis.   His captivity lasted about two years, until Divine Providence enabled him to effect his escape.

After a brief visit to Rome he returned to France, where he became preceptor in the family of Emmanuel de Gondy, Count of Goigny, and General of the galleys of France.   In 1617, he began to preach missions, and in 1625, he lay the foundations of a congregation which afterward became the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named on account of the Priory of St. Lazarus, which the Fathers began to occupy in 1633.vincent-Moutiersst vincent de paul 3.vincents_heart

The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent de Paul’s eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France.   This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.

The Countess de Gondi–whose servant he had helped–persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among poor tenant farmers and country people in general.   Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians.   These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.

It would be impossible to enumerate all the works of this servant of God.   Charity was his predominant virtue.   It extended to all classes of persons, from forsaken childhood to old age.   The Sisters of Charity also owe the foundation of their congregation to St. Vincent.   In the midst of the most distracting occupations his soul was always intimately united with God.   Though honoured by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility.   The Apostle of Charity, the immortal Vincent de Paul, breathed his last in Paris at the age of eighty in 1660.

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St Vincent De Paul is among the Incorruptibles.  The Incorruptibles are Catholic Saints who’s bodies show no decay after their death.   The Incorruptibles are a consoling sign of Christ’s victory over death, a confirmation of the dogma of the Resurrection of the Body, a sign that the Saints are still with us in the Mystical Body of Christ, as well as a proof of the truth of the Catholic Faith – for only in the Catholic Church do we find this phenomenon.Vincent-de-Paul_body

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Reliquary containing St Vincent’s incorrupt heart
Posted in PATRONAGE - HOSPITALS, NURSES, NURSING ASSOCIATIONS, PATRONAGE - NAPLES, PATRONAGE - THE SICK, THE INFIRM, ALL ILLNESS, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS

Saint of the Day – 14 July – St Camillus de Lellis MI (1550-1614) Confessor, “The Giant of Charity.”

Saint of the Day – 14 July – St Camillus de Lellis MI (1550-1614) Confessor, Priest and Founder, Apostle of the Sick,  ((25 May 1550 at Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, Naples, Italy – 14 July 1614 at Genoa, Italy of natural causes).   He was Canonised on 29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV.  Patronages –  against illness, sickness or bodily ills; sick people (proclaimed on 22 June 22 1886 by Pope Leo XIII), hospitals, hospital workers, nurses, Abruzzi, Italy.

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Founder of the Order of Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Infirm (abbreviated as M.I.), better known as the Camillians.
His experience in wars led him to establish a group of health care workers who would assist soldiers on the battlefield.   The large, red cross on their cassock remains a symbol of the Congregation today.   Camillians continue to identify themselves with this emblem on their habits, a symbol universally recognized today as the sign of charity and service. This was the original Red Cross, hundreds of years before the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was formed.

During the Battle of Canizza in 1601, while Camillians were helping with the wounded, the tent in which they were tending to the sick and in which they had all of their equipment and supplies was completely destroyed and burned to the ground.   Everything in the tent was destroyed except the red cross of a religious habit belonging to one of the Camillians who was ministering to the wounded on the battlefield.   This event was taken by the Camillans to manifest divine approval of the Red Cross of St Camillus.

Members of the Order also devoted themselves to victims of Bubonic plague.   It was due to the efforts of the brothers and supernatural healings by de Lellis that the people of Rome credited de Lellis with ridding the city of a great plague and the subsequent famine.   For a time, he became known as the “Saint of Rome”.

De Lellis’ concern for the proper treatment of the sick extended to the end of their lives. He had come to be aware of the many cases of people being buried alive, due to haste and ordered that the Brothers of his Order wait fifteen minutes past the moment when the patient seemed to have drawn his last breath, in order to avoid this.   St Camillus Church and Museum in Italy http://himetop.wikidot.com/camillus-de-lellis-church-and-museum

Camillus de Lellis was born on May 25, 1550, at Bucchianico (now in Abruzzo, then part of the Kingdom of Naples).   His mother, Camilla Compelli de Laureto, was nearly fifty when she gave birth to him.   His father was an officer in both the Neapolitan and French royal armies and was seldom home.   De Lellis had his father’s temper and, due to her age and retiring nature, his mother felt unable to control him as he grew up.   She died in 1562.   As a consequence he grew up neglected by the family members who took him in after her death.   Tall for his age, at 16 De Lellis joined his father in the Venetian army and fought in a war against the Turks.

After a number of years of military service, his regiment was disbanded in 1575.   De Lellis was then forced to work as a labourer at the Capuchin friary at Manfredonia;  he was constantly plagued, however, by a leg wound he received while in the army, which would not heal.   Despite his aggressive nature and excessive gambling, the guardian of the friary saw a better side to his nature and continually tried to bring that out in him. Eventually the friar’s exhortations penetrated his heart and he had a religious conversion in 1575.   He then entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars.   His leg wound, however, had continued to plague him and was declared incurable by the physicians, thus he was denied admission to that Order.

He then moved to Rome where he entered the Hospital of St. James (possibly founded by the Hospitaller Knights of St. James), which cared for incurable cases.  He himself became a caregiver at the hospital and later its Director.   In the meantime, he continued to follow a strict ascetic life, performing many penances, such as constant wearing of a hairshirt.   He took as his spiritual director and confessor, the popular local priest, Philip Neri, who was himself to found a religious congregation and be declared a saint.

De Lellis began to observe the poor attention the sick received from the staff of the hospital.   He was led to invite a group of pious men to express their faith through the care of the patients at the hospital.   Eventually he felt called to establish a religious community for this purpose and that he should seek Holy Orders for this task.   Neri, his confessor, gave him approval for this endeavour and a wealthy donor provided him with the income necessary to undertake his seminary studies.

He was ordained on Pentecost of 1584 by Lord Thomas Goldwell, Bishop of St Asaph, Wales and the last surviving Catholic bishop of Great Britain.   Camillus then retired from his service at the hospital and he and his companions moved to the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, where they assumed responsibility for the care of the patients there.

In 1586 Pope Sixtus V gave the group formal recognition as a congregation and assigned them the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome, which they still maintain.   In 1588 they expanded to Naples and in 1594 St Camillus led his Religious to Milan where they attended to the sick of the Ca’ Granda, the main hospital of the city.   A memorial tablet in the main courtyard of the Ca’ Granda commemorates his presence there.

Pope Gregory XV raised the Congregation to the status of an Order, equivalent with the mendicant orders, in 1591.   At that time they established a fourth religious vow unique to their Order: “to serve the sick, even with danger to one’s own life.”

Throughout his life De Lellis’ ailments caused him suffering but he allowed no one to wait on him and would crawl to visit the sick when unable to stand and walk.   It is said that Camillus possessed the gifts of healing and prophecy.   He resigned as Superior General of the Order in 1607 but continued to serve as Vicar General of the Order.   By that time, communities of the Order had spread all throughout Italy, even as far as Hungary.   He assisted in a General Chapter of the Order in 1613, after which he accompanied the new Superior General on an inspection tour of all the hospitals of the Order in Italy.   In the course of that tour, he fell ill.   He died in Rome in 1614 and was entombed at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.