The Celebrations for the Feast of St. Camillus de Lellis Begin at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe novena to prepare for the feast of St. Camillus de Lellis, which will be celebrated on 14 July next during the fourth centenary of his going to heaven, began last Saturday.

On 5 July there will be the first appointments at the Altar of the Patria in Rome, with the offering of the holy oil that will be used for the ‘Torch of Charity’ at the sanctuary of Bucchianico.

After the laying of a laurel wreath at the votive chapel of the unknown soldier and the lighting of the flame of military health care, in an atmosphere of great emotion the fallen of all wars were honoured. Present at the event were representatives of the Italian Air Force (led by General Inspector Piervalerio Manfroni) and delegations of the town councils of Bucchianico and of Loreto Aprutino (the town where the mother of St. Camillus was born and a civic body that has been a protagonist of this jubilee year), led respectively by their mayors, Gianluca De Leonardis and Gabriele Starinieri.

The ‘Torch of Charity’ Association, the organiser of the event, was represented by its president, Pietro Dalla Negra.

Immediately after the ceremony at the Altar of the Patria, the group moved to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene for the blessing of the oil for the votive lamp of St. Camillus and the designation of the Italian Air force as the military body that will be the protagonist of this fifty-fifth edition.

After this, Monsignor Lorenzo Leuzzi, the Auxiliary Bishop responsible for pastoral care in health in Roman hospitals, officiated at a Holy Mass, remembering during his homily the work of St. Camillus for the sick, a shining example for all those people who are involved in providing care to suffering humanity.

At the end of the celebration there was a presentation of the volume ‘Santo Rosario con il cuore di San Camillo’ (‘The Holy Rosary with the Heart of St. Camillus’) (published by Segno), written by Father OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGiovanni Aquaro, a chaplain at the ‘St. John’ Hospital of Rome, and by the postulant Walter Vinci.

On Saturday afternoon, at 19.00, the new General Consultor of the Order, Father Gianfranco Lunardon, presided over a celebration of the Eucharist. Immediately afterwards, the sisters Daughters of St. Camillus animated an evening of evangelisation called ‘Lights in the Night’.

From 20.00 to 24.00, at the time of the traditional opening of the church for the ‘Camillian white nights’, all the visitors were invited to draw near to the Chapel of St. Camillus to light a candle and to share in a moment of prayer. Two baskets – on one of which was written ‘St. Camillus is listening to us’ and on the other ‘St. Camillus is talking to us’ – were available to those people who were present: in the first requests for prayers could be put, from the second they could take and then take away some phrases of the saint.

The faithful of Rome and very many tourists responded with enthusiasm to this appointment, filling the church until a late hour and informing themselves about the ‘Giant of Charity’. For everyone it was an opportunity to admire the artistic treasures kept in the generalate house of the Order where St. Camillus died on 14 July 1614.

On Sunday 6 July, at 19.00, the Filipino community of Rome made its first jubilee pilgrimage to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, taking part in and animating the Holy Mass celebrated by the new General Consultor of the Order, Father Aris Miranda, who himself comes from the Philippines.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the end of the celebration, an itinerant musical about St. Camillus began from Piazza della Rotonda (in front of the Pantheon) and then arrived at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. Along the way, a sung story narrated the life of the saint (interpreted by a young actor), helped by the sisters Daughters of St. Camillus who animated the performance, also distributing symbolic red bracelets to commemorate the ‘hundred arms’ that the saint wanted so as to help the suffering. The performance ended with a moment of prayer inside the church.

In this case as well there did not fail to be a major participation on the part of the public (including many young people) who had an opportunity to learn about the human and spiritual story of the ‘Giant of Charity’ in a lively and innovative way.
Look here at the photographic gallery of the ceremony of the Torch of Charity

Look here at the photographic gallery  of the pilgrimage of the Filipino community of Rome

Look here at the photographic gallery  of the itinerant musical about St. Camillus

Look here at the photographic gallery of ‘Lights of the Night’

Look here at the press information