Opening of the Jubilee Year: the message of the General Superior, Fr Renato Salvatore

Dearest Brothers,

This special year has finally begun. Throughout the Camillian world something is being done to live it in a worthy way, as, indeed, this event requests of each one us, the children of such a special Father.

What you see behind me is the crucified Christ who detached his arm from the cross to say to Camillus: ‘This work is not yours but mine’, which means that we, still today, can, indeed must, say: ‘our Order is expressly willed by God’; it is an instrument by which God makes Himself present in the world of health and health care.

We also see the Lord Jesus now with his hands removed, in an approach of comfort and support for our activity. The cross reminds us that it is the concrete proof of the love of God for us. The Father did not forgo sacrificing his Son, but, instead, gave him for our salvation – a proof of the infinite love of god, of the infinite mercy of God: mercy that we Camillians are called to receive and to return in the world of health and health care, in particular in relation to the sick, their family relatives and all health-care workers.

In this room which was then the infirmary of the community, our Founder spent the last months of his life as a sick person. From that bed he wrote an impassioned letter which implored his religious to remain faithful to the charism received from God to care for the sick in body and in spirit but avoiding giving way to the temptations to deviate from the way of serving the sick that was wanted by God. We receive his recommendation with interior readiness to be faithful, but in a creative way, that is to say actualising service to the sick in the different geographical contexts where we are present with completely special care for those that we define as being on the outskirts of human existence. An invitation, therefore, to be prophetic in a world where injustice and lack of solidarity find increasing space. We must unite our forces and join people of good will so as to fight together the battle to establish the civilisation of love.

This is an important year which we should utilise in the best way possible, starting from that moment when St. Camillus rose up to heaven in the arms of the Father. He left in our hands the responsibility to construct this basis of love in the world of health and health care. Communion amongst us in our communities constitutes the first step of this demanding but also very exalting journey.

Let us go forward in this vineyard wanted by the Lord, to which we have been called by the Lord and which is stewarded first by Him and more by Him than by us!

A embrace to each one of us and a caress to every sick brother!