CADIS – Initiatives for the Camillian Martyrs of Charity Day

Logo Ufficiale CadisOn February 2, 1994, the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm had officially instituted May 25 as the Day of the Camillian Religious Martyrs of Charity. The day also commemorates the birth of St. Camillus de Lellis (May 25, 1550).

The Day of the Camillian Religious Martyrs of Charity is a commemoration of the heroic life of more than 300 Camillians (seminarians, oblates, novices, brothers, and priests) who died in serving the victims of plagues in Italy, Spain, Hungary and Croatia during the first four centuries of the life of the Order. This is an exemplary witnessing of the “fourth vow of the Camillians,” that is, service to the sick “even in danger to my own life”.

The main purpose of celebrating the Day of the Camillian Martyrs of Charity

The very purpose of celebrating this Day – in re-echoing the official declaration of the General Government in 1994 – is to remember which means to know, investigate, learn, create a connection, and apply in the present the lessons of the past. In harmony with the Christian martyrs, our celebration of the Camillian Martyrs is an act which strives to give meaning to the very words of Jesus in the Gospel in our present context and needs. “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15,12-13)

In our search for our charismatic identity and belongingness, remembrance of this heroic tradition is an essential aspect of our prophetic heritage. The heroic act, enthusiasm, and readiness of our confreres to accept death in serving the sick in the Lord’s name, MUST influence our way of witnessing today to the world of health and in the Church more relevantly the love of Jesus toward the suffering humanity as Camillians in the footsteps of Saint Camillus. That is one of the main reasons that point out to the need to nurture it to make our witnessing more credible and meaningful to the Church and the society.

Secondly, we want to celebrate which means to highlight the values of the real heroic action, of the person, and of a historical event. It highlights the values of solidarity, commitment, generosity, self-denial, fraternal love and an option for the poor. These values run through the “veins and nerves” of our ministry that sustain its vitality, radicalness, and relevance amidst the fast-changing social conditions. Lastly, we want to imitate which means to espouse ourselves to the learnings and values which will help us to live our witnessing of the merciful love of Christ more accurate, relevant and meaningful.

Though the present situation does not guarantee ample opportunities to exercise our fourth vow today as the martyrs of charity did, the invitation to live in fidelity to our fourth vow remains. As Pope Francis says, “Certainly the heroic offering of life, inspired and sustained by charity, expresses a true, complete and exemplary imitation of Christ […].” (Motu Proprio: Maiorem Hac Dilectionem, 2017). Furthermore, “in the life of a Minister of the Sick, the fourth vow is neither an adjunct nor defense. It is a substantive vow. His life, his religious life cannot be concretized without it. It is from this base that the task in hand, even if it has to be pursued to a heroic degree, is to be seen as a total response to the love of God, who has given himself to the Minister.”[1]

Join and promote the mission of the Camillian Disaster Service (CADIS) International Foundation

Given the above exposition, the General Government of the Order through the Camillian Disaster Service International Foundation (CADIS), the humanitarian organization of the Order, is recommending to all the provinces, delegations, and communities to celebrate creatively this feast of the Martyrs of Charity every May 25. The commemoration will highlight a special celebration of the Holy Eucharist, a novena prayer and a weekly recitation of the prayer in times of disasters. CADIS will send soon an electronic copy of the liturgical guide to all of you.

Another important highlight of this commemoration is the Emergency Fund Campaign. This will allow CADIS and its member organizations to conduct relief intervention at the very onset of an event. From 2005 to 2014, a total of 0.7 million people were killed by disasters, and about 1.7 billion people were affected. The top 5 countries that were impacted by the disasters are China, USA, Philippines, India, and Indonesia. (Cf. UNISDR). All these countries have a Camillian mission. Thus, their cries should not be left unheard. CADIS will also provide a separate mechanics of the campaign.

Download here the complete message of the Superior General p. Leocir Pessini and the General Consultor p. Aris Miranda

On the occasion of this celebration, CADIS organized a conference at the General Curia of the Camillians on May 25, 2018, with the purpose of sharing its vision and mission in a context of historical continuity with respect to the call and the spirit of the fourth Camillian vote. The Camillian Disaster Service International Foundation (CADIS) is a non-profit humanitarian and development organization of the Order of Ministers of the Sick (Camillians). The Foundation supports the global mission of witnessing the mercy and compassion of Christ to the sick, who suffer, and to the most vulnerable populations. (AM/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/5/2018)

Following is the material made available by CADIS for the Camillian day of 25 May – Martyrs of Charity











SPAGNOLO: Depliant NovenaPrayer
PORTOGHESE: DepliantNovenaPrayer
FRANCESE: DepliantNovenaPrayer