A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Soldier, gambler, vagrant

It was a nasty slide downward.

He had picked up the gambling habit when he was in the service. After his unit disbanded and he exited the service, gambling caused him to lose everything he had.

He tried different things, but nothing worked. When war broke out again, he went back into the military and served until the war was over.

After the war, he was out on the street again. He was hanging out with some other homeless men when a rich man came by and offered him a job, working on construction for a new monastery the man was building for the local Capuchins.

The ex-soldier accepted the offer and, after one last struggle with his temptations, took the job.

He worked diligently and came close to becoming a Capuchin himself. A chronic physical ailment, however, came back in force and so instead of a Capuchin friary, he found himself in a big city hospital.

While he was at the hospital, he did what he could to help out, no matter how menial the task. In time, this six-foot-six former soldier would become a nurse.

Eventually, he would become a priest and founder of a religious order devoted to the sick: the Order of St. Camillus, which continues to this day.

Camillus de Lellis died at the age of 64 on July 14, 1614 and was canonized in 1746. His memory is celebrated in the United States on this day.

(from an earlier post)