Santa Casa da Misericórdia

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The Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Macau, location in Macau.

Santa Casa de Misericórdia is a Portuguese charity founded in Lisbon in 1498 by Queen Leonor of Portugal.[1]

It declares itself to be a Catholic lay brotherhood and to work through 14 Works of Mercy, seven of a spiritual nature: to teach the humble, to give good advice, to punish those who do wrong, to console the sad, to pardon offenses, to suffer patiently, to pray for the living and for the deceased; and seven of a corporeal nature: to visit the ill and imprisoned, to free captives, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry and thirsty, to shelter travelers and to bury the dead.[2] It is currently the oldest working NGO in the world, if not the first. It isn't supervised by the Church or the State.

After the Lisbon Santa Casa da Misericóridia de Lisboa,[3] similar organizations were created in many other cities and towns of Portugal and of the former Portuguese Empire, like in Brazil, Macau and even in Nagasaki, Japan.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Portugal. Accessed 9 August 2016
  2. ^ Fidalgos and Philanthropists: The Santa Casa Da Misericórdia of Bahia 1550-1755. Google books. Accessed 9 August 2016
  3. ^ Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon: Five hundred years of philanthropy. Accessed 9 August 2016
  4. ^ Website Macau Holy House of Mercy. Accessed 9 August 2016

External links[edit]