Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 11 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Laconi
home iconNews
line break icon

Vatican Stamps–Those Tiny Evangelizers

Vince DiNoto

William Van Ornum - published on 08/30/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Fourth, the “400th Anniversary of the Death of Saint Camillus de Lellis.” Camillus founded the Order of the Clerks Regular, Ministers to the Sick. At his Angelus address on July 14, 2013, Pope Francis remarked, “The Samaritan does precisely this: he really imitates the mercy of God, mercy for those in need. … A man who lived to the full this Gospel of the Good Samaritan is St. Camillus de Lellis, patron saint of the sick and of health care workers.”

In addition to the customary vows, Camillians have a fourth vow—offering perpetual corporeal and spiritual assistance to the sick even with danger to one’s own life. When one thinks of Ebola and other fatal communicable diseases, this Order’s relevance may be singular. They also accept lay workers.

Fifth, another Patriarch of Venice is remembered with kindness in the “Centenary of the Death of Saint Pius X.” A dynamic priest, he showed great enthusiasm for pastoral duties and quickly was promoted to bishop. St. Pius X wrote an encyclical that challenged doctrines of the modernists. On August 2, 1914—the day Germany invaded Luxembourg, when the skirmish at Jonchery began, inaugurating the dreaded Western Front—the then-sickly Pope uttered his nearly last words. He died 2 weeks later but his plea for peace will move others for centuries to come:

“We therefore exhort that all approach the throne of grace and of mercy, as many Catholics as there are throughout the world, and in the first place men from the clergy; whose duty, moreover, it will be, at the command of bishops, to carry out public supplications in every single parish, that the merciful God, exhausted as it were by the prayers of the pious, may take away the destructive flames of war—the sooner the better—and that, beneficent, He may grant to those who preside over civil affairs to think thoughts of peace and not of affliction.”

The sixth stamp celebrates the “Beatification of Pope Paul VI.” The stamp shows this rather recent Pope offering the papal blessing. Although some people have criticized him for supposedly vacillating and others disagree with his decision on birth control (in Humanae Vitae, 1968), too few recall that he may have had the most difficult task of any recent Pope—keeping the Church together in a decade of explosive divisiveness. For this, he has our gratitude.

William Van Ornum is professor of psychology at Marist College and director of research and development/grants at American Mental Health Foundation in New York City. He studied theology and scripture at DePaul University.

  • 1
  • 2
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
Zoe Romanowsky
Moving 1-minute film about motherhood will touch your heart
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.