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First chapter of Intaschi and Santini’s book “The Ways of Mercy”

The corporal works of mercy, burying the dead and spiritual, pray God for the living and the dead

The Misericordia has always been concerned with caring for the dying and giving proper burial to the dead-in fact, when any Brother was about to die, the Prior, would immediately give orders to go to “vegghiare,” to assist him, to prepare him for a good death and to pray for him.

As soon as he died, the brethren would watch over him during the night, after putting on his hood.

If the officers or brethren did not do the prescribed service, without legitimate impediment, they had to pay a penalty.

Since the burial of the dead was considered one of the principal works of mercy of every Christian, if any person died who did not belong to the pious Sodality or who because of extreme poverty (which had to be ascertained by the Curate) had no one to accompany him to the cemetery, the Company provided burial in any place in the Parish.

Le Vie della Misericordia

In the case of poor people, the service was performed free of charge. For the dead who were not members of the Confraternity, the customary office was sung in the Church, after which the brethren knelt down and devoutly recited, aloud, three paternostres and three avemarie for the soul of the departed.

When the place of burial of poor people was farther than the convent of the Reformed Fathers of St. Lazarus, the deceased was accompanied in addition to the parishioner (the parish priest), by four brethren, dressed in hoods, and two with lighted flashlights.

This is the story.

The works of mercy actualized in today’s Mercy

Official records then recount that beginning in 1969 what had been identified for so many centuries in the work of the Company of Good Death was organized into the modern “honors and funeral home” service with appropriate rooms, dedicated employees and specific means.

Central hub of this historic service remains the Suffrage Church with the adjacent Farewell Chapel and the exhibition with offices on the ground floor of Via XX Settembre in Camaiore.

Today our Misericordia performs this important and historic service through specific Company called “La Misericordia srl.” A decade ago in taking over the operational management was presented a project, unique of its kind at the Tuscan and national level with at its center the Misericordie of the Plain of Lucca, Media Valle and Versilia.

Nine Misericordie from the provincial territory of the Lucca area are part of the membership, and the positive trend of the ever-growing activity, thanks to the development of important synergies among the members, has made the company expand even more.

Activity is guaranteed in the territories with three operating offices: Lucca, Borgo a Mozzano and Camaiore, where competent people welcome families and accompany them at every stage of the sad event.

Online version of the book by clicking on “The Ways of Mercy – browsable“.

Photo

  • “The Ways of Mercy”, Aldo Intaschi and Luca Santini

Source

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