Pope Francis praised those present for their work of “loving and generous donation to the sick, carrying out a precious mission, in the Church and in society, alongside the suffering.”
He encouraged members of the Camillian family to always remember that their charism of mercy toward the sick is a gift from the Holy Spirit, meant to be shared with others.
Charisms, he said, “always have a transitive character: they are orientated towards others. Over the years, you have made efforts to incarnate your charism faithfully, translating it into a multitude of apostolic works and in pastoral service to the benefit of suffering humanity throughout the world.”
St. Camillus de Lellis initially founded an order of men, at a time when active consecrated life for women “had not yet matured,” Pope Francis noted. Two congregations for women were created in the 19th century, and secular institutes were established in the 20th century.
These developments, the pope said, “have given completeness to the expression of the charism of mercy towards the sick, enriching it with the distinctly feminine qualities of love and of care.”
He offered prayers that Mary, Health of the Sick might especially guide and accompany the consecrated women, teaching them maternal dedication and tenderness.
Together, Pope Francis said, these different Camillian groups make up “a single constellation, that is, a ‘charismatic family’ composed of men and women religious, secular consecrated persons and lay faithful.”
“None of these realities is the sole custodian or single holder of the charism, but each receives it as a gift and interprets it and updates it according to his or her specific vocation, in different historical and geographical contexts,” he said. In this way, the different ecclesial bodies all work together “[t]o witness in every time and place Christ’s merciful love towards the sick.”
“At the centre there remains the original charism, as a perennial source of light and inspiration, which is understood and embodied dynamically in the various forms.”
Looking forward, Pope Francis urged the Camillians to be open to new apostolates, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
He instructed them “always to cultivate communion among you, in that synodal style that I have proposed to all the Church, listening to each other and everyone listening to the Holy Spirit, to value the contribution that every single situation offers to the single Family, so as to express more fully the multiple potentialities that the charisma includes.”
Through fidelity to their founder, and by listening to and accompanying those experiencing poverty and suffering today, the pope said, the Camillians “will know how to make light shine, always new, on the gift received; and many young people the world over will be able to feel attracted by and to join with you, to continue to bear witness to God’s tenderness.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.