Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Rome photo show spotlights hospital reformer St Camillo

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle) Rome, May 28 - Sixteenth-century
Saint Camillo was a hands-on man, it is said. Running back and
forth between Rome's hospitals to help the sick and injured,
legend has it that the mercenary-soldier-turned-saint personally
rescued stranded men and women from the flooded Tiber river by
throwing them over his shoulder two at a time.
A stunning work by the French painter Pierre Subleyras
(1746), 'St Camillo de Lellis Saves the Drowning from the
Tiber', shows the gigantic saint carrying a man on his back
effortlessly while reaching down to scoop up another.
A month-long exhibition at in the Brasini wing of Rome's
Vittoriano monument called 'Presenze' (Presence) celebrates
Camillo's legacy which continues in the work of 'Camilliani'
priests, missionaries and layman around the world.
The exhibit that includes Subleyras' painting, is comprised
of numerous photos, both present day and historical, showing not
only the order's clergy at work, and also the faces and lives of
those assisted.
Beyond the muscle he put into his works that contributed to
his canonization in 1746, Camillo is credited with having
sparked major changes in the health care of the 1500s that
revolutionized the way the ill and injured were treated and
paved the way for today's hospital system.
"What many don't know is that during St Camillo's times,
patients were not admitted into Rome's hospitals without first
confessing. Even then, they could be refused," Father Eugenio
Sapori told ANSA at the show's opening.
"Instead, Camillo didn't ask questions or refuse anyone. He
rolled up his sleeves and opened the doors to everyone who
needed help, indiscriminately," Sapori said.
Argentine photographer Guillermo Luna has followed
Camilliani clergy around the world since first seeing them work
in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia.
"I was struck by the humanity I saw in the priests and
their actions. They truly practice what they believe in without
limits or exceptions," Luna told ANSA.
"Through these shots I tried to capture the essential
spirit of the order," Luna said.
A series of historic photos recovered recently line the
walls of the entry into the larger part of the show, which the
runs until June 23.
"These photos were identified after they were found by
chance, not by the way the monks were dressed, but by the
order's distinguishing red cross," Eliana Pavoncella, one of the
event's organizers said.
Clergy from the order of Camilliani sport a signature
red cross that helps them stand out, especially when serving on
the front lines of conflicts and war, where they continue to
unhesitatingly serve.
Indeed, one of the recovered sepia photos shows rows of
robed Camilliani, arms crossed, expressions determined, ready to
head to the front lines of WWI. Something St Camillo did both as
a soldier and then as a mercenary.
"St Camillo was gigantic, especially for the time he lived
in. He was over six feet tall and extremely powerful," Father
Paolo Guarise tells ANSA.
But Camillo proved that his strength went beyond the
physical. More than 400 years later, the vitality of his message
and efforts continues, as the insightful exhibition 'Presenze'
shows.

© Riproduzione riservata

* Campi obbligatori

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