On 15th September, the Camillian Province of Brazil celebrated the 100th anniversary of the presence of Camillian religious in Brazil. A century ago, Fathers Inocente Radrizzani and Eugenio Dalla Giacoma went to Brazil with the charism of mercy towards the sick, facing several challenges to establish the work of St. Camillus there. In preparation for this great celebration for the Province of Brazil and for the entire Order, a Jubilee Year was lived, which began on 15 September 2021 in the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei in São Paulo, the first parish and mother house of the Camillians in Brazil, and ended on 15 September 2022 in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in São Paulo.
Throughout the jubilee year, the aim was to revive the Camillian charism in Brazilian works and spread the Order’s mission. For this reason, a pilgrim cross visited every Camillian work during this year, with moments of prayer, reflection and deepening on our spirituality and values. This pilgrim cross, the symbol chosen for this Jubilee Year, is made up of a red cross joined to a map of Brazil, referring to our presence from the north to the south of the country, with the figure of the religious founders of the Brazilian work in the centre. This cross has passed through our communities, hospitals, parishes, educational institutions and the various places that share the charism of mercy towards the sick.
The Jubilee Year ended with a meeting of the entire Camillian Charismatic Family: men and women religious, lay members of the Camillian Family, pastoral workers and collaborators, which took place from the 12th to the 15th.
On the 15th, the historic stage of the centenary, a solemn Holy Mass was held at the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida, presided over by Dom Orlando Brandes, Archbishop of Aparecida, and concelebrated by Fr. Pedro Tramontin, Superior General of the Order, Gianfranco Lunardon, Vicar General, Fr. Mateus Locatelli, Provincial Superior of Brazil, Fr. Giuseppe Rigamonti, Provincial Superior of the Northern Italian Province, a large number of Camillian Fathers, as well as Brothers, Sisters and hundreds of lay Camillians.
During the Mass, the Archbishop recalled several times the importance and relevance of the Camillian work in Brazil and in the world, meditating on what St. Camillus said: that the crucifix itself was the founder of the Order. This is why we wear the red cross on our chest, a sign of our love and our total commitment to the work that is not ours but Christ’s own. Our mission is therefore to revive in the world this ever-present love of the Lord for those most in need.
The Archbishop also thanked us for our presence at this very important celebration together with Our Lady of Aparecida, Mother of God and our mother, who has been so present at the most important moments for the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm and has manifested her maternal presence in the Brazilian work since its inception.