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Saint Camillus of Lellis

Updated on December 5, 2009

About Saint Camillus of Lellis

Saint Camillus was born in the year 1550 in the city of Naples. His mother passed away when Camillus was still quite young, and his father was involved in the military. His father's military position made Saint Camillus have a childhood full of disregard. He was not truly cared for like a child should be. Camillus joined the military, just like his father, when he was old enough to. This is where Saint Camillus developed major addictions to alcohol and gambling. He is now remembered as the patron saint of anybody seeking a second chance due to the way he turned his life around.

On some time off from the military, Camillus was out in town one day. He happened to see a monk who lived nearby in his travels and they both began talking to one another. The monk had learned from others about Camillus' drinking and gambling problems. He wanted to help Camillus, and suggested that Camillus change his ways and become a monk.

Camillus did not think much of the monk's advice at the time and decided to go back to the army, and with that his gambling and drinking as well. However, Camillus' return to the military would be short lived. They found out about his gambling issues, and asked him to leave. Camillus didn't know what to do at this point and he reconsidered the monk's advice. He was allowed to learn the ways of becoming a monk, but was soon asked to leave the monastery. His heart was not fully into becoming a monk and it showed.

Camillus went home to Rome at this point. He checked into a hospital there because of injuries from being in the military. He was healed and ready to return to normal life after a few weeks, but remained at the hospital to work. He really tried his best at the job and was eventually put in charge of the entire hospital.

Camillus decided that he would create his own religious society to head. He called his order the Father of a Good Death, and he officially began it in 1584. He made a headquarters where he and his fellow members of the order would heal people who were injured. They mostly took in people who couldn't affod the hospital, or who had been turned away.

Over the years, Saint Camillus would found other locations for the Father of the Good Death. Camillus performed miracles in many of these houses, and many people across the world heard of his kindess and good deeds. Saint Camillus died in 1614.

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