A diaconia was originally an establishment built near a church building, for the care of the poor and distribution of the church's charity in medieval Rome or Naples (the successor to the Roman grain supply system, often standing on the very sites of its stationes annonae). Examples included the sites of San Vito, Santi Alessio e Bonifacio, and Sant'Agatha in Rome, San Gennaro in Naples (headed by a deacon named John in the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth century.
An alternative spelling, diakonia, is a Christian theological term from Greek that encompasses the call to serve the poor and oppressed. The terms deaconess and diaconate also come from the same root, which refers to the emphasis on service within those vocations.
Diakonia is a term derived from Greek, used in the Bible, New Testament, with different meanings. Sometimes, refers to the specific kind to help any people in need. At other times, it means to serve the tables, and still others, refers to the distribution of financial resources.
Also in contemporary theology the word diakonia presents a variety of connotations and representations. For FLD (Diakonal Lutherans Foundation in Brazil), diakonia means serve to change people's lives, to contribute to the construction of citizenship of the less fortunate.
Also in some South American countries it is a native meal.
- Letters of Pope Gregory, IV, 19; P.L., LXXVII, 688
- CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: John the Deacon
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