Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Relic of St Camillus de Lellis

After seeing our post about St Camillus de Lellis, the founder of the congregation of Clerks Regular known as the Ministers of the Sick, on his OF feast day (July 14), a reader sent in this photograph of a relic of the Saint which he recently acquired. (Today is his EF feast day.) It is the form letter by which St Camillus, as the head of the order, grants to a member of the Congregation full rights to participate in all of its pious activities and exercises. The recipient was named Marcantonio Croce; St Camillus granted the same privileges to the man’s brother, Francesco Croce, as well, by adding his name on in the fifth line of the form letter, (the words represented below in italics.) Technically, there are a few words within the document which, with the addition of the brother, should have been changed to the plural; there is also a typo in the last sentence, in which the word “meritorium” should be “meritorum.” St Camillus’ signature and seal are on the bottom. A full translation is given below; click the image to enlarge the picture.

Camillus de Lellis, general prefect of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm, to the most illustrious sir Marcantonio Croce, greetings (salutem) in Him who is the true salvation (salus).

That which your perpetual will to persevere in our Order and your outstanding merits require, that with every sort of duty we should declare the charity and regard which we owe you in the Lord: since we can show this in no other matter than in spiritual services, inasmuch as our frailty can endure: in accordance with that authority which God has granted to us in this Congregation of ours; we make you and your brother the most illustrious sir Francesco Croce, your brother, a participant in all of the pious works, prayers, Holy Sacrifices, fasts, confessions, ministrations to the sick, visits to hospitals and prisons, (acts of) assistance to the dying, and finally of all pious exercises whatsoever, both of body and soul, which through the grace of God, take place in the whole of this Congregation, and grant to you a full share in these things, with full and sincere affection in our heart, in Christ Jesus. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we beseech God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that from the inexhaustible treasure of the merits of the same His most beloved Son, fulfilling that which lacks in us, may enrich you with the blessing of every grace in this life, and finally reward you with the crown of eternal glory. Given at Milan on the seventh day of the month of July, in the year of the Lord 1600. Camillus de Lellis.

(From the absence of further honorifics, it would seem that the Croce brothers were not members of the clergy. The word “dominus - sir” was commonly used in these types of documents for all sorts of people, and does not imply that they were members of the nobility either.)

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: