The 404-year-old incorruptible heart relic of St. Camillus De Lellis, patron of the sick, nurses, and hospitals, arrived in the city as part of the Mindanao-leg of the month-long visit to the Philippines for the second time.
The said relic landed at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport on Tuesday, March 12, and was immediately transported to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) where a mass and a public veneration followed attended by hundreds of medical workers as well as patients at the said hospital.
“During its first visit in 2013, it was only two weeks long and many other localities requested for another visit. This time, the objectives of the visit are to widen the scope of devotion of the patron of the sick, nurses and hospitals,” Fr. Rodel Enriquez, vicar provincial of the Philippine Camillian Province said in an interview.
St. Camillus de Lellis was born in the 1550s from a dysfunctional family. He became a mercenary at the age of 18 and was a gambler until he entered the Franciscan Capuchin convent where he converted his life.
The said relic will stay in the city for four days from March 12-15, before it will be transported to Mati, Davao Oriental.
“The visit of the heart relic of the Holy Saint is to challenge everyone to give ourselves a chance to reform ourselves just like St. Camillus especially in this time of lent,” Enriquez said in an interview.
Yesterday, March 13, the relic visited the Davao Medical School Foundation for a Holy Mass and public veneration. It then came back to SPMC for a mass and another public viewing and veneration. Today, March 14, it will be at the San Pedro Hospital for public viewing and veneration.
Tomorrow, March 15, the relic will be available for public viewing and veneration at the San Pedro Cathedral from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon, 1 to 5 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m. On March 16, it will depart from the city to Mati, Davao Oriental.
This will also be transported to Cagayan de Oro before returning to Manila and eventually to Rome.