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Oil on wood panel 12"x16"x7/8"24 K Gold Leaf in traditional application

A native of Bocchianico in Abruzzi, Italy, Camillus became a soldier of fortune at seventeen and by twenty-five had gambled away everything he had.  He found work at a Capuchin friary and was moved to repentance. When the friars refused to permit him to make vows with them because of his ulcerous leg, Camillus sought treatment at Saint James Hospital in Rome.

In order to pay for his treatment, Camillus had to work in the hospital alongside the poorly paid nurses. They were dirty, rude and cruel.  In time he became an administrator, all while progressing in his spiritual life under the direction of Saint Philip Neri, who counseled him towards the priesthood. Camillus saw further, he wanted to become a priest who would serve Christ in the sick.  With like-minded men he founded a hospital where fresh air and good food were the norm. He gave priority to hygiene and privacy.  In 1595, the Camillians were the first nurses to serve in a mobile unit on a battlefield.

Throughout his life, Camillus' own pains only grew worse. He called them "God's Mercy" and never stopped serving the sick, even prostrating himself before them. The por and sick are the heart of God, by serving them we serve Jesus Christ.

Camillus died at sixty-five on July 14, 1614. 

*Information from the Magnificat

Saint Camillus (1555-1614)

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