Martyrs of Charity: witnesses of Camillian ministry

Tomorrow, 25 May, the anniversary of the birth of St. Camillus, we remember the Martyrs of Charity with an unpublished document kept in the archives of the Generalate, which lists the names of the first martyrs who fell while serving the sick.

On 18 March 1886, on the occasion of the third centenary of the approval of the Order of the Ministers of the Sick, the Father General, Joachim Ferrini, wanted to make public, for the first time, the names of those religious, who from S t. Camillus onwards, in the act of exercising their charitable ministry for the benefit of the plague-stricken and the wounded, met their death[1].

He did so by printing a document, now kept in the archives of the Generalate,[2] representing a necrological table, in the form of a poster, printed in Latin by the former Typographia Polyglotta de Propaganda Fide.

The table reproduces a list of 288 victims who fell during their service in the first three centuries of the Order, and is structured in such a way as to show: the year and the location of the epidemics, followed by the name of the religious, their status and their position (whether fathers, brothers, clerics, novices, oblates, general or local superior, parish priest, novice master, health inspector, etc.). Note that for seven of them there is the annotation: ‘died in the concept of sanctity’.

[1] AGMI 565/3. La Voce della verità. Giornale della società primaria romana per gli interessi cattolici.Roma- venerdì 19 e sabato 20 marzo 1886. Num. 64

[2] AGMI 565/2. Tavola necrologica, 18 marzo 1886. Romae Ex Typorgaphia Polyglotta de Propaganda Fide