CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The incorrupt heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis is at the Metropolitan Cathedral here today, March 23.
Devotees of St. Camillus, patron saint of the sick, doctors, nurses and other health workers, can honor and venerate the relic from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, and again at 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday.
The journey of the saint’s heart relic in Pampanga is part of its second visit in the Philippines where it arrived on February 2, 2019, and is going around different churches in the country.
Chairman of the Journey of the Heart 2.0 Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino Jr., MI, said that the incorrupt heart of St. Camillus, taken an hour after his death on July 14, 1614, is contained in a crystal glass reliquary measuring 11 centimeters high and 10 centimeters wide and seven centimeters in depth.
“St. Camillus’ heart relic really has such spiritual symbolism. The most common being that the heart is the universal symbol of love. And even his last breath, St. Camillus’ heart was in the service of the sick. For him, to serve the sick is to serve Christ Himself,” said Cancino.
St. Camillus himself in his lifetime had an experience being sick as he had a sore in his leg that would not heal, and spent a lot of time in hospitals where he also later on served as a caregiver. The experience made him realize that God called him to serve the sick. It also led him to establish a religious congregation dedicated solely to care for the sick—the Ministers of the Sick, popularly known today as the Camillians.
“The visit of St. Camillus’ heart relic provides a perfect opportunity for all of us to give importance to the humanization of health care in the country, to place our sick brothers and sisters at the center of care and not leave them on the margins, and for all healthcare providers and carers of the sick to renew their dedication and commitment in loving and serving the sick,” Cancino said.
Cancino furthered the new school of charity that St. Camillus established has been touching the hearts of people and loving the sick in 42 countries all over the world, including the Philippines. Camillian presence in the Philippines started in 1974 and the Philippine Province of the Camillian Order was formally established on July 1, 2003.”
“Presently, they exercise their ministry in Luzon (Quezon City, Makati, Marikina, Pasig, Antipolo and Baguio City), in the Visayas (Calbayog and Balugo, Dumaguete), and in Mindanao (Davao City and Mati, Davao, Oriental),” he added.