1945-07-02, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: THE SAINT of the RED CROSS —SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS. (2 July 1945)

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THE SAINT of the RED CROSS —SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS. (2 July 1945)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/258801363
Physical Description
  • 1841 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, National Library of Australia, 1945-07-02
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • THE SAINT of the RED CROSS —SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS. (2 July 1945)
Appears In
  • The Newcastle and Maitland Catholic Sentinel : the official organ of the diocese of Maitland., XIV, no.10, 1945-07-02, p.7 (ISSN: 2206-5466)
Published
  • xna, National Library of Australia, 1945-07-02
Physical Description
  • 1841 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Part Of
  • The Newcastle and Maitland Catholic Sentinel : the official organ of the diocese of Maitland.
  • Vol. XIV No. 10 (2 July, 1945)
Subjects
Summary
  • THE SAINT of the RED CROSS —SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS. Without any wish to depreciate Henri Dunant, the Swiss Philanthropist, thropist, whose name is more commonly associated with the inception tion of the Red Cross movement, one must in all justice assert for St. Camillus the' primary credit for the Red Cross symbol, and, what is more important, for the spirit it typifies. AN ITALIAN MOTHER had a dream. She seemed to see the son that was soon to be born of her. On his breast appeared a cross, and with him were other children who bore the same strange sign. She was frightened. To her this cross seemed an omen of evil. Her son, perhaps, was going to be a captain of bandits on the hills. The good woman did not live to see her dream come true. After her death, her son did bear a cross on his breast —both he and all his followers ers —but it was the Red Cross of a new Order, the Ministers of the Sick. Camillus de Lellis, the child of the cross, was born on May 25th, 1550. His pious mother had little influence over his young days, and the little influence she had was practically nullified by the glamour of his father’s life. Giovanni de Lellis was a soldier of fortune, a reckless dare-devil, whose colourful life had captured tured the imagination of his son. The occasional return of his father from the wars served only to whet the boy’s desire to be done with school and to enter upon all the adventures of the soldier’s life. At the age of nineteen, his mother being dead, he snapped all the restraints of boyhood and became his father’s comrade-in-arms. rade-in-arms. A TROOPER’S VOW. Between gambling and fighting the father and son supported themselves precariously cariously until the partnership was dissolved. solved. The father died on the way to fight the Turks, and, soon after, Camillus limped shamefacedly home with a slight wound above the ankle. On the way home he met two Franciscans whose manner so impressed him that he—grew ashamed of his dissolute life and vowed to become a Franciscan himself. A TROOPER GAMBLES. Faithful to his vow he presented, himself self at one monastery after another to get admittance, but the- answer was everywhere the same. No monastery would take him. So he considered the vow no longer binding and resolved to return to his soldier’s life. Another obstacle stacle cropped up: the old wound in his leg showed no sign of healing. He offered fered himself at the Hospital of San Giacomo as a servant in return for medical cal treatment. He was accepted, and the wound was almost healed when he was dismissed from the hospital in disgrace. His* gambling failings had broken out again; he had turned the servants’ quarters ters into a gambling den. Back in the army Camillus led a wild life. His meagre returns for fighting were supplemented by the use of card and dice. He didn’t always win. Once he lost everything, his momly, fighting equipment, his clothes. He staked his shirt and lost it, and to his shame he was forced to surrender it publicly. On the way back from an expedition against the Turks in Tunis he found himself in grave danger of shipwreck, and once more vowed to enter the Franciscan Order. No sooner was he safe on land than for the second time he gambled away every article of his soldier’s equipment. He took to the road with a companion, begging ging his way from town to town. A TROOPER MINDS ASSES. Camillus attracted much attention. He was no common beggar. Of commanding height, massive in build, fair-haired, sallow low in complexion, with eyes that were black and intensely attractive he interested ested many people, and received offers of work. From the work he always ran and never came back —except once. He was promised work at a convent which was being built for the Capuchins. He ran from it at first, but came back and received the charge of two asses which were used for carting the building materials terials to the convent site. Once at work, Camillus persevered, and so impressed the Father Guardian that he was admitted as a novice. He gave evidence of great humility, self-control and repentance. r t looked as if at last he could fulfil his vow. But after some months the old leg wound began to give trouble again. Camillus millus was dismissed with the promise of readmission should the wound heal. THE NEW CAMILLUS. Back to the hospital of San Giacomo came the wanderer. There was no disgrace grace on this occasion. Camillus was a new man and before long won the esteem and confidence of the hospital authorities. The wound closed, and despite the advice of St. Philip Neri, his confessor, he tried again to become a Capuchin. He Was received and had passed four months in perfect health, edifying all, when the wound re-opened and he was dismissed for good and $ll from the Order, Back to San Giacomo for the third time he came and began there his true vocation, the service of Christ in the person of the sick. For his peace of soul the Friars gave him a written statement certifying that he was completely absolved from his sow. Camillus thereupon put the thought of his vow away for good; it had served God’s purpose in his soul. He devoted his whole energy to the work of the hospital. pital. MY WORK—NOT THINE. There was no organised provision for hospitals in the days of Camillus, and the care of the sick left very much to be desired. By himself Camillus could not effect any lasting or radical improvements. ments. So he planned the forming of a band of priests who should devote themselves selves entirely to hospital work. In the face of much opposition Camillus was tempted ta forget this plan, but one day while praying before his Crucifix, he heard Our Lord upbraid him: “Why are you fearful, O coward? Persevere in thy work, for I will help thee, for this is My work, and not thine.” The plan went ahead, and in order that the promotion of his work might bo more effective, Camillus lus was directed to become a priest. At the age of 32 Camillus went to school again to begin his studies. He had to begin at the very elements of grammar. After much humiliation, prayer and grinding ing work he was ordained a priest in 1854. He received a Chaplaincy at a little church and straightway set up his little congregation of hospital workers there. In 1586 the Pope gave formal approval of the work of Camillus, erected his little band into a religious Congregation, tion, and authorised its members to wear a small red cross on their habit as their distinctive badge. On June 29th the new Congregation appeared in public in Rome for the first time wearing the Red Cross. The mother’s dream had come true. The work of Camillus and his followers for the sick and plague-stricken was truly heroic. No difficulty, inconvenience, or even death itself could deter them from giving help and consolation to all who needed them. They saw Christ in the poor and in the suffering, and that was enough for them. “Do you see nothing but rags on these poor creatures?” said Camillus. “Do you not consider that under der these rags may be concealed Jesus Christ Himself?” In 1591 Pope Gregory XIV erected the Congregation of Camillus —“The Ministers of the .Sick” —into an Order with the four solemn vows of poverty, erty, chastity, obedience and perpetual service of the sick and infected. SPIRIT OF RED CROSS. Camillus died on the evening of July 14th, 1614. His last words were the Holy Names and “Most Precious Blood . . -” His Order of the Red Cross lived on with the distinctive spirit he gave it. What is that spirit? The spirit of Christian Charity towards Christ’s needy and afflicted flicted ones, the embodiment of the Gospel pel teaching that bade men see Christ in the lowliest of His brethren and proclaimed claimed that a service done to them was service done to the Divine Master Himself. self. In this teaching of the service of Christ of His sick, Camillus de Lellis laid the foundation of the whole Red Cross movement; for that chiefly one must vindicate dicate for him the honour of being the true founder of the Red Cross. In his own lifetime, his Red Cross overleaped the bounds of city hospitals and appeared on the battlefield, its first association for the modern mind. RED CROSS ON BATTLEFIELD. At the siege of Vienna 1595, and again on the expedition into Croatia in 1601 the Camillians, at the Pope’s commission, supplied the first organised hospital services vices in war, and became the pioneers of modern Red Cross work. On July 24th, 1859, the Red Cross Camillians distinguished guished themselves by their services to the wounded in the battle of Solferino, and received the official thanks of the defeated Francis Joseph 11. Henri Dunant ant was present at Solferino and saw the work of the Camillians. Three years later in 1863 Dunant made his first proposals concerning the treatment of the wmunded in war, and proposed as the symbol of the non-combatant character of the hospital pital services the small red cross of Camillus. To Henri Dunant belongs the sole credit of fathering and actuating the International Red Cross Convention of 1864, which regulated the use of ambulance-work lance-work under the Red Cross symbol. The revision of that Convention in 1906 supplies the international legal basis of the war work of the various national Red Cross services. Great, essential almost, as has been the part played by Henri Dunant, the credit of founder must rest ultimately with Camillus. Dunant’s proposals posals presuppose as their necessary foundation the spirit of Camillus. To both be credit: let us not disparage the one for the sake of the other. ST. CAMILLUS. The Church has recognised Camillus and his work. She has conferred on him the highest title in her gift, the title of Saint. In August, 1930, the late Holy Father coupled St. Camillus with St. John of God as patrons of every kind of organisation sation of Catholic hospital workers. On that occasion the Holy Father specified the precise work for which God raised up Camillus, making of a gambler and an adventurer the Apostle of the Derelict and Dying: “He was raised up by God to minister to the sick and to teach others how to minister to them.” The Feast of St. Camillus de Lellis is on July 18th. HOW TO SUCCEED IN STUDY. The following advice is given by a nou- Catholic Professor, Professor Paulsen: “Three great imperatives are the eternal stars of true education: ‘Learn to obey. Learn to exert yourself. self. Learn to deny your self and to overcome your lusts’.”
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  • 282.09944205 994.42005 (DDC)

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