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The Ways of Mercy

Camaiore and Lido Misericordia Governor Aldo Intaschi and historian Luca Santini outline the publishing journey and invite to the book presentation

How did the idea of writing “The Ways of Mercy” in collaboration with the Archconfraternity of Mercy of Camaiore and Lido come about?

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“After the merger of Camaiore and MiseLido’s mother house … during the pandemic with the ‘retreat of so many volunteers the idea of the book was strengthened to try to motivate new volunteers and to tell the centuries-old story of Solidarity and commitment to others of so many Confraternities and Companies made by so many women and men who today resist and continue in the centuries-old experience of the Confraternity of Misericordia Camaiore and Lido‘s only living heir … operational both as places, structures and Works!”

What were the main contributions of the Archconfraternity and the administration in the making of the book?

“Of the Confraternity of Mercy of Camaiore and Lido I would say the 5 centuries of Works that today are crystallized in at least 7 operational locations: in Lido the social headquarters and the village of solidarity. In Camaiore the historical headquarters with Suffrage Church, Chapel of Farewell and 3 apartments dedicated to services pltre to the beautiful operational headquarters of vai del Mattatoio … in the hamlets Casoli and Valpromaro and soon “Casa Baldocchi” for Works for the poor and homeless of Versilia as indicated by the donor …”

Le Vie della Misericordia

How have you integrated the stories and traditions of the Archconfraternity into the historical narrative of the town of Camaiore? Can you describe an example of how the activities of the Archconfraternity have influenced the community life of Camaiore over the centuries?

“Especially in the last 100 years and particularly in the last 50, social services but also cultural services have often seen us side by side … locations with Day Care Centers for the frail elderly, the village for housing emergencies, the fraternity park with multi-purpose and “skate plaza” for many young people, camaiore d’altri tempi, bussoladomani, antiques festival …. ”

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What documents or testimonies of the Archconfraternity were particularly significant for your research?

“The book by Prof. Bertacchi made in 1980 “Charity on the Way,” the publication “We were born to shine” published by MiseLido in 2019 on the last 50 years, the publication on the historical archaeology of the Misericordia of Camaiore made by Prof. Antonelli of the Lucchese Historical Institute but also the many periodical issues of “trace” and “new horizons” as well as the many recordings made by the “telecamaiore new horizons” first free broadcaster of Versilia published by our Misericordia …in the 80s. As a compendium of this book of ours, we have also covered not only the history of the Misericordia, but also an extensive narrative of the events related to the first hospices and companies that succeeded each other over time and that did their best in the works of charity and social support to the Camaiore community, especially those that were included in the Camaiore castle.”

How does the book celebrate the role of the Archconfraternity in promoting mercy and social support in Camaiore?

“The whole book is centered on this … I dare say that the one without the other would not be or at least would be decidedly grayer and poorer in content and innovation …”

Were there any surprising or unexpected discoveries during the writing of the book regarding the historical activities of the Archconfraternity?

“Assessing what we have built over the course of 5 centuries I would say the discovery of many brothers and Sisters including many young people who said YES and donated time, resources and commitment to pursue the design …. Among other things that emerge from the archival documentation and research done in the historical archives is how the Misericordia has been the valid and necessary continuation of the social commitment of the Camaiore community that since the 12th century shows great commitment to solidarity activities. Suffice it to consider how a large number of inhabitants competed to be admitted to the various existing companies by accepting strict and demanding rules, which is no longer the case today due to the numerous distractions of the sociaal to which our community is continually subjected.”

How do you think the book can contribute to enhancing and preserving the historical memory of the Archconfraternity and the municipality of Camaiore?

“Our idea will be to organize a memory space with all the historical elements left by also enhancing the Suffrage Church as our “corner of beauty” that contains so many beautiful things and can become not only a place of worship but also a space for meetings and educational activities of a certain kind … In addition, we could create a permanent exhibition-museum, which tells the stories of the various initiatives implemented by the various companies over the centuries, following the narrative given in the book, as an everlasting memory and reminder of the great work done by our ancestors to meet the needs of the weakest. Enhancing these aspects can be a way to raise awareness among young people and promote the increasingly fading Christian and solidarity spirit.”

Le Vie della Misericordia

What are the main values, teachings of the Archconfraternity of Mercy that emerge from the pages of the book?

“Solidarity, Passion, Charity, and Commitment to the Common Good and Neighbor … Continued Openness to the Community and reading it to identify critical issues and build solutions together … as they say today in co-planning. Today as 500 years ago. ”

Do you have other future projects in mind in collaboration with the Archconfraternity or other local entities to continue exploring the history and traditions of Camaiore and all of Versilia?

“We would like to provide continuity and perhaps create a rescue museum with the help of our Brotherhood member Luigi Spadoni.”

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

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

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