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Camilo de Lellis was born at Bucchianico in Chieti, Italy on 25 May 1550. Son of a military officer , his mother passed away when he was very young. He spent his youth as a soldier. Reported as a large individual, perhaps as tall as 200 cm, and powerfully built, he was also a gambling addict, he lost so must, he had to take a job working on construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins; there they converted him. He entered the Capuchin novitiate three times, but due to nagging leg injury, received while fighting the Turks, forced him to give up each time. He went to Rome for a medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. He moved to San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and Eventually became its administrator. He received permission from his confessor (St.Philip Neri) to be ordained and decided, with two companions, to found his own congregation. The Minister of the Sick (The Camillians), dedicated to take care of the sick The Red Cross on their religious Cassock remains a symbol of the order today. In the sick he saw the person of Christ. His reverence in their presence was so great as if he was really and truly in the presence of his Lord. To enkindle the enthusiasm of his religious brothers for this all-important virtue, he used to impress upon them the consoling words of Jesus Christ ”I Was sick and you visited me”. He seemed to have these words engraved in his heart, so often did he repeat them over and over again. He was canonized in 1746, was declared patron of the sick, by Pope Leo XIII, and patron of nurses and nursing groups by Pope Pius XI. He died in Rome on 14th July 1614.

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