Philippines bids farewell to St. Camillus heart relic
Priests venerate the heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis at the Manila Cathedral, March 30. PHOTO FROM THE CAMILLIANS FACEBOOK PAGE
By CBCP News
April 1, 2019
Philippine Catholics bid goodbye to the incorrupt heart relic of Saint Camillus de Lellis on Sunday at the end of a nearly two-month tour which drew thousands of devotees.
After being kept over night at the Manila Cathedral, the reliquary containing the saint’s heart left Manila on Monday for Indonesia.
Head coordinator of the trip Camillian Fr. Dan Cancino said he was surprised by the level of interest of many people.
He said the tour was witnessed by thousands of people in 22 archdioceses and dioceses.
“In our lifetime we are fortunate to witness the heart of St. Camillus,” said Fr. Cancino, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Healthcare.
Fr. Cancino accompanied the relic of the patron saint of the sick and health workers on every stage of the trip.
“The tour may have ended in Philippines but we should continue the journey by also visiting hospitals, prisons and helping the needy,” he said.
At the farewell Mass on Sunday, retired Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato urged the faithful to learn the lessons of “conversion, charity, and service” from the saint.
“Let our love be truly Christian. Let our love reach out in service to the poor, the sick and the needy,” Cardinal Quevedo said in his homily.
The heart relic arrived in Manila last Feb. 2 and for the second time after its first visit in 2013.
For several weeks in the country, the relic was also brought to 29 hospitals, 15 parishes, and 12 houses for the elderly, including homes for sick priests and nuns.
St. Camillus’ heart was removed an hour after his death on July 14, 1614 and the relic has been enshrined at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome, Italy, where he was buried.