Corporate Body - Camilos




Corporate Body

Preferred form:

CamilosOther forms

Fechas de Existencia:



The Order of the Clerics Regular, Ministers of the Sick, better known as Camillians, appeared in August 1582, when its founder, Camilo de Lelis (1550-1614), a religious administrator at the Hospital of Santiago in Rome, created "one company of devout and good men that voluntarily helped the sick [...] for the love of God, with the same love that a mother has for her sick child". Camilo's wish was to substitute the great hospitals' workers because, according to him, they offered almost negligence services and cares. In 1586, the company of good men obtained the approval of pope Sixtus V and, in 1591, it was pope Gregory XIV who gave the level of Order to the so called Order of the Ministers of the Sick. This denomination was chosen by Camilo to indicate that its members must have Christ as a model, who said: "I have not come to be served but to serve and give life". Camilo rejected to be the Superior General of the Order in October 1607. In those days, the Order was constituted by 240 priests of perpetual vows and 80 novices distributed all over the 16 communities of the 5 provinces. 160 priests died since the order's foundation until Camilo's renunciation, 61 of whom were professed to be perpetual. These figures provided spiritual and corporal service (or only spiritual) at the 8 Italy's biggest hospitals. Until Camilo de Lelis' death, the Order possessed houses and extended its activity only in Italy. However, he had tried to found it unsuccessfully in France and Spain. Camilo absolutely banned the members' assumption of the hospital's administration. The reason was that "the administration of material goods and its concerns limit the spirit's action and the charity's practice to your neighbours". The Order started to accept own works of assistance from the 19th century. It only possessed residential houses so far where priests lived, formed candidates for the Camillian life or assisted sick monks and nuns. They lived almost exclusively on the alms and their work was totally free. Their aim was the consecration for the caring of the sick, even risking their own lives, and to testify the always present love of Christ to the sick. The Order, which identified its friars with black habits and a red cross over the chest, is the precursor of the Red Cross.

Related Authorities

Temporary relationships :

Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja  - Earlier (Es predecesor/a de; La orden de los Camilos que identificaba a sus frailes con hábitos negros con una cruz roja sobre el pecho, es precursora de la Cruz Roja.)

See successors

External Links

Obras literarias:


Fichero de Autoridades:

Biblioteca Nacional de España

Fichero de Autoridades:

Cat¿logo autoridades DNB