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   home : Saint Medals - Men > St. Camillus of Lellis
St. Camillus of Lellis
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St. Camillus of Lellis

About Saint Camillus

Saint Camillus de Lellis was born in Abruzzo in 1550 and died in Rome on July 14, 1614.  He was the son of an officer who served in the French and Neapolitan armies.  Saint Camillus was neglected during his childhood because his mother died when he was just a boy, and his father was always away in the army.

Saint Camillus Joined the Army

When Saint Camillus was not much more than a boy, he joined the army of Venice and later the army of Naples where he served until 1574.  While Saint Camillus was in the service, he developed a gambling problem and lost everything he had, driving him into destitution.  A Franciscan monk tried to persuade Saint Camillus to join the Franciscans but he refused.

Saint Camillus Employed

Instead of joining the Franciscans, Saint Camillus traveled to Rome and found a job in the Hospital for Incurables.  He was actually hoping to find a cure for his feet which caused him much discomfort from abscesses.  Eventually, Saint Camillus was fired from his position at the hospital because he took up gambling once again and had a quarrelsome nature. 

St Camillus de Lellis Patron Saint

Saint Camillus Returned to the Army

Saint Camillus enlisted with the Venetian army again and fought in the war against the Turks in 1569. When the war was over, he found work with the Capuchins as a builder. 

Saint Camillus Inspired

While working at the Capuchin Convent, Saint Camillus continued his gambling habit.  The guardian of the convent gave a sermon and Saint Camillus was so inspired that he decided to reform his ways.  He was admitted to the Capuchins as a lay brother but was let go because of the abscesses on his feet.

Saint Camillus Goes Back to Rome

Saint Camillus went back to Rome and checked into the hospital where he had worked before.  His feet were temporarily cured.  Saint Camillus decided to become a nurse and worked piously, winning the admiration of the hospital administration.  Saint Camillus was eventually named director of the hospital.

Saint Camillus Ordained a Priest

Saint Camillus was ordained a priest at thirty-two years old.  He founded the new order, the Fathers of a Good Death in 1584.  These priests were devoted to caring for plague victims and caring for the sick in their own homes.  Saint Camillus suffered constantly from his afflicted feet but refused help of any kind.  He crawled to those who needed care if he had to.

Saint Camillus Canonized

Saint Camillus was canonized a saint by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.  He is the patron saint of nurses and nursing associations.

Many Catholics give nurses or people studying to be nurses a Saint Camillus medal, Saint Camillus charm, or Saint Camillus pendant
St Camillus de Lellis Medal Pendant

St. Camillus of Lellis


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