The churches of Rome celebrated the canonisation of two Popes, John Paul II and John XXIII, and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Campo Marzio (location of the generalate house of the Camillians) could but do the same
For this reason, from Friday 25 April until Sunday 27 April the church was open constantly from 9.00 in the morning until midnight, in order to allow the very large number of faithful and tourists in the capital to visit it and to pray at the tomb of St. Camillus de Lellis.
Especially appreciated by the faithful was the altar dedicated to the two Popes, now saints, in front of which they gathered together in prayer, especially on Saturday evening before the canonisations. The crucifix that spoke to St. Camillus generated great emotion: it was shown at the entrance of the church on the altar to the left. Thanks to the description in four languages, those tourists who did not know the history of the saint of Bucchianico were able to discover the meaning of the crucifix and its very strong ties with St. Camillus.
The hundreds of people who visited the church involved surprises and special coincidences: from the foreign families who had called their children ‘Camillus’ or ‘Camilla’ (and did not know that the saint was buried in Rome) to the Canadian woman nurse who was able to discover the name of her patron saint; from the medical doctor who wanted to be a volunteer in Camillian missions to the Brazilians of a parish named after St. Camillus, and on to the military man who was able to meet and pray to his patron saint.
Some tourists, taking advantage of their stay in Rome during the weekend, went back twice to visit the church; others, who were Romans, admitted that they had never gone into the church and said that they were enthusiastic about such a casket of art and spirituality.
Available to everyone were calendars, medallions and other Camilian gadgets, amongst which books on the history of St. Camillus which aroused the interest of, and had a very great appeal for, the visitors.
The usual celebrations of the Eucharist at the weekend did not fail to take place; in particular, after that on Sunday at 19.00 prayers were said for all sick people.
The special opening of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene – which formed a part of the initiatives for the fourth centenary of the death of St. Camillus – also applied to the museum which has the relic of the heart of the saint and other precious relics of his life.
This time as well the ‘Camillian white nights’ were a successful initiative which will accompany us until the great celebrations of July.
Look here at the photographic gallery
Look here at the press information