Caring for the Sick – Part 2 of 2

St. John Berchmans bestowed . . . care upon the sick, in whatever house he was living. He visited them many times a day, and consoled them with spiritual conversation. In summer, he brought them cool water from the fountain, at the hottest part of the day, to moisten their lips and hands. However numerous they might be, he went to see them all every day, and spent most time with those who required the most aid, or received the fewest visits. From the rooms where he found many gathered, he quickly hastened, to go to those who were alone. He always told some anecdote of the Blessed Virgin to the sick lay-brothers, who watched eagerly for the hour of his visit, and if anything had hindered him, they asked the Father in charge to send him later, — so much were they consoled by his presence.

St. Felix the Capuchin showed no less pity for the sick of his Order. At his return to the convent, when he had been out to solicit alms, he went around distributing among them any little delicacies and refreshments he had obtained, consoling them, at the same time, with amiable words, and showing his readiness to render them whatever service they required.

Many, too, even persons of high rank, have had a vocation for visiting and serving hospitals. St. Stephen, King of Hungary, went to them by night, alone and in disguise. St. Louis, King of France, served the inmates on his knees and with uncovered head, looking upon them as members of Christ and united with Him upon the cross.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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