For the first time, the over 404-year-old heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis, the patron saint of the sick, doctors, nurses and other health workers will be taken to Bohol for veneration.
Father Agerio Paña, chancellor of the Diocese of Tagbilaran told dyRD Balita that the relic, onboard a fastcraft from Cebu City, will arrive at the Tagbilaran City port at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
It will then be taken to the St. Joseph’s Cathedral for arrival rites and a Holy Mass led by Bishop Abet Uy of the Diocese of Tagbilaran at 9 a.m.
“Walay welcoming ceremony sa pier kay delikado, kay original g’yud ni siya na kasing-kasing di pareha anang uban, ari lang ang welcome ceremony…kay 400 kapin years old na gud nang kasing-kasinga,” said Paña.
Five more veneration Masses will be held throughout the day, at 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Paña said that the cathedral will remain open for veneration of the heart relic until the last visitor leaves on Friday. There will be a special line for those with major illnesses, he added.
“Gi-invite pud tong mga masakiton, kay patron of sick people man pud ni, naay special na linya pud dinhi para nila aron di sila madasok,” he said.
The relic will remain at the cathedral until Saturday, as it will be transported to Iloilo via Cebu on that day.
The heart relic of St. Camillus arrived in the Philippines on February 2 for a 57-day visit dubbed “Journey of the Heart 2.0” for the Catholic faithful across the country to venerate the heart of the saint.
It will be flown back to Rome, Italy on April 1, 2019 and will be brought back to its major shrine at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene.
Saint Camillus’ heart was removed an hour after his death on July 14, 1614.
He was born on May 25, 1550 at Bucchianico in Italy. He fought for the Venetians against the Turks, was addicted to gambling, and by 1574 was penniless in Naples.
According to catholic.org, St. Camillus became a Capuchin novice, but was unable to be professed because of a diseased leg he contracted while fighting the Turks. He devoted himself to caring for the sick, and became director of St. Giacomo Hospital in Rome.
For his part, Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino Jr., MI, chairman of the Journey of the Heart 2.0 urged people to be more like St. Camillus and extend care to those in need.
“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,” Cancino told PNA. (R. Tutas with a report from PNA)