"The Church has cared for the needy in every pandemic."

The past and present history of the Church in the face of disease and pandemics is the focus of the 14th edition of the Conference on the History of the Church in Andalusia organized by the Beato Marcelo Spínola Chair of the San Isidoro Faculty of Theology in Seville.

Maria José Atienza-February 4, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
hospital cinco llagas

Photo: Seville. Blood Hospital. 1738. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. National Historical Archive. STATE, MPD. 789.

The care of the faithful, the sick and the poor in times of pandemics and plagues is nothing new in the history of the Catholic Church. This experience has marked the development of congregations, associations and brotherhoods for the care of those affected throughout the centuries.

Church and epidemics in Andalusia. Hospitality and devotions', is the title of this "Conference on the History of the Church in Andalusia" which, as described by the director of the Chair, Manuel Martín Riego:"we wanted to dedicate to this theme as soon as its preparation began because the Church has been the only institution that, throughout history, in such situations, has maintained its attention to the poor and sick. Also in our recent times, especially in areas of Africa and Asia.".


Three speakers will address the subject from different angles and experiences on February 8, 9 and 10, starting at 7:00 pm.

The first session will be led by Francisco BenavidesDirector of the Archive-Museum San Juan de Dios Casa de los Pisa, Granada, who will dedicate his speech to the following topics The Order of St. John of God between epidemics and pandemics: 500 years of social and health service to the most vulnerable population.'.

The following day, it is the turn of Antonio Claret GarcíaProfessor at the University of Huelva, whose lecture focuses on "''.Health practices in times of epidemics in 17th century Seville according to the Obregones nurses'.. Known as Obregón nurses, they were the religious of the Congregation of the Poor Nurses, founded by Bernardino de Obregón, whose nursing work was pioneering in its time and laid the foundations for today's health care work.

Finally, it will be the religious Magdalena HerreraDaughter of Charity, who will present the '.Presence of the Daughters of Charity in Andalusia: Charity, mission and service'.The presentation focused especially on the Andalusian capital where the Daughters of Charity have been responsible, throughout its history, for the care of the Casa Cuna or the old hospital of the Five Wounds of Our Redeemer, also known as the Hospital de la Sangre.

The Chair of Blessed Marcellus Spinola

The Chair of Blessed Marcelo Spinola was created in 2007 to coincide with the first centenary of the death of the Bishop of the Poor. It is currently integrated into the San Isidoro de Sevilla School of Theology. This chair, promoted by the Handmaids of the Divine Heart, aims to deepen the history of the Church in Andalusia. In the 14 editions that have been developed, topics such as charity, archives, priestly formation or the Church and education have been addressed.

The conferences, which will take place at the Faculty of Theology in accordance with all the hygienic and security precautions established for this time of pandemic, are open to everyone via the youtube channel of the Faculty.

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