MANILA — The heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis, patron saint of the sick, doctors, nurses and other health workers, will again visit the Philippines starting next month.
Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino Jr., MI, chairman of the Journey of the Heart 2.0, invited the faithful to venerate the heart of the Saint, which will be in the country from February 2 to March 31.
“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 health care providers and carers of the sick to renew their dedication and commitment in loving and serving the sick,” he said in a press conference on Friday.
The sacred relic will arrive at NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City on February 2 and will proceed via a motorcade to the Our Lady of La Paz Parish in Makati City where it will stay until February 4.
Cancino noted that the relic will be brought to various parishes and hospitals, adding that the complete schedule of its visit is available via the social media channel and website of the Camillians.
“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,” he added.
At the same time, he urged the people to be like St. Camillus who put his heart in caring for the sick.
“Like St. Camillus, we are encouraged to put our hearts into the care and service we provide to the sick, akin to caring and serving Christ Himself. And in doing so, the sick will feel the presence of God, through us,” Cancino said.
The heart relic of the Founder of the New School of Charity and the Ministers of the Infirm, also known as the Camillians, first visited the country in 2013. It stayed in the country for almost a month from February 18 to March 10.
The “new school of charity” that St. Camillus established is present 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.
Currently, 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). Ferdinand Patinio/PNA – northboundasia.com