Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pope Innocent III

A bit about one of my favorite popes Pope Innocent III. I know hospitals are no longer what they once were since secular society has had its way.
From the book "Our Glorious Popes":

When,as one of the results of the Crusades, towns began to spring up all over Europe, where heretofore there had been fertile fields and farm lands, and diseases and epidemics began more frequently to infect the people living so unwontedly close together, Pope Innocent saw the need for hospitals, to take care especially of the ill who were without family to attend them. After he had carefully studied the matter, he asked the Fathers of the Holy Spirit to come to Rome and establish a hospital in the City of Popes.
The Hospital of the Holy Spirit, as Pope Innocent called his first hospital, soon earned a world-wide reputation for the excellence of its nursing care, the skill of its medical work, and the "discretion with which its surgical cases were treated!" It was a rule that all the sick picked up in the streets should be brought to the hospital, and that all the wounded and injured- all the "accident cases"- should be welcomed and given immediate attention.
Pope Innocent's hospitals spread, almost at once, to every country in Europe. In France, the sisters of the Holy Ghost established hospitals on the order of those which the Brothers of the Holy Ghost were founding. We know that all of the famous old English hospitals date from the beginning of the 13th century, and were an imitation of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit at Rome; hospitals in every modern sense of the word. In Germany, after Pope Innocent's example, there were founded in the 13th century, hospitals in 82 cities or towns.
The secret of the tremendous blessing upon Pope Innocent's work is revealed in the list of regulations for his hospitals, which happily have been preserved. The regulations of a medieval catholic hospital ordained that the patients were to be received as Christ the Lord, "Who Himself said, 'I was a stranger and you took Me in.'" The patient,moreover, having confessed his sins to the priest and received Holy Communion, was afterward "to be carried to bed and treated there as Our Lord, according to the resources of the house."

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1 comment:

  1. Pope innocent III started the Inquisition when he began to pursue and kill the Christian Albegensens. It is interesting for anyone to choose him as their favorite pope.