Posted in MARTYRS, PATRONAGE - A HOLY DEATH & AGAINST A SUDDEN DEATH, PATRONAGE - DOCTORS,MIDWIVES, PATRONAGE - EPILEPSY, PATRONAGE - EYES, PATRONAGE - HEADACHES, PATRONAGE - THE SICK, THE INFIRM, ALL ILLNESS, PATRONAGE-INFERTILITY & SAFE CHILDBIRTH, PATRONAGE-STOMACH PAIN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 8 August – The Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Saint/s of the Day – 8 August – The Fourteen Holy Helpers.
A group of Saints invoked with special confidence because they have proven themselves efficacious helpers in adversity and difficulties, are known and venerated under the name Fourteen Holy Helpers.

The Notable Martyrs Saints within the Group are:
Acacius, Barbara, Blaise, Christopher, Cyriacus, Catherine of Alexandria, Denis, Erasmus of Formia, Eustace, George, Giles, Margaret of Antioch, Pantaleon and Vitus.

Devotion to these fourteen ,as a group, spread in response to the Black Plague which devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349. Among its symptoms were the tongue turning black, a parched throat, violent headache, fever, and boils on the abdomen. It attacked without warning, robbed its victims of reason and killed within a few hour. Many died without the last Sacraments.

Brigands roamed the streets, people suspected of contagion were attacked, animals died, people starved, whole villages vanished into the grave, social order and family ties broke down and the disease appeared incurable. The pious turned to Heaven, begging the intervention of the Saints, praying to be spared or cured. This group devotion began in Germany–the Diocese of Wurzburg having been renowned for its observance.

Pope Nicholas V attached Indulgences to devotion of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in the 16th century.

Saint Christopher and Saint Giles are nvoked against the plague itself.
Saint Denis is prayed to for relief from headache, Saint Blaise for ills of the throat,
Saint Elmo for abdominal maladies,
Saint Barbara for fever and Saint Vitus against epilepsy.
Saint Pantaleon is the Patron of physicians,
Saint Cyriacus invoked against temptation on the deathbed and Saints Christopher, Barbara and Catherine, for protection against a sudden and unprovided death.
Saint Giles is prayed to for a good Confession and Saint Eustace as healer of family troubles.
Domestic animals were also attacked by the plague and so, Saints George, Elmo, Pantaleon and Vitus are invoked for the protection of these animals.
Saint Margaret of Antioch is the Patron of safe childbirth.

The legends of the Fourteen Holy Helpers are replete with the most glorious examples of heroic firmness and invincible courage in the profession of the Faith, which ought to incite us to imitate their fidelity in the performance of the Christian and social duties. If they, with the aid of God’s grace, achieved such victories, why should not we, by the same aid, be able to accomplish the very little which is desired of us? God rewarded His victorious champions with eternal bliss – the same crown is prepared for us, if we but render ourselves worthy of it. God placed the seal of miracles on the intrepid confession of His Servants and a mind imbued with the spirit of faith, sees nothing extraordinary therein because our Divine Saviour, Himself said, “Amen, amen I say to you, he that believes in Me, the works that I do, he also shall do and greater than these shall he do” (John 14:12). In all the miraculous events wrought in and by the Saints, there appears only the victorious omnipotent Power of Jesus Christ and the living faith, in which His Servants operated in virtue of this power.

The histories of the Saints are called Legends.
This word is derived from the Latin,and signifies something that is to be read, a passage the reading of which is prescribed.
Therefore, the Legends of the Saints are the lives of the holy Martyrs and Confessors of the Faith.
Some of them occur in the Roman Breviary which the Catholic Clergy is obliged to read everyday.

(The corruption of this word has occurred in modern times, giving it a meaning of either “unprovable story or celebrity.”)

A little more about the 14 Holy Helpers and a prayer to them by St Alphonsus Liguori here:  https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/25/thought-for-the-day-25-july-the-memorial-of-st-christopher-died-c-251-one-of-the-fourteen-holy-helpers/

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.