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The origins

The Confraternities, existing since Roman times, underwent an evolution in the Carolingian era. In the 10th century, only ecclesiastical people belonged to the Confraternities. The first Confraternities were composed of the clergy of the city, while for those formed by lay people, we begin to have certain proofs only in the 12th century, in the full force of the communal era in Italy.

Depending on the importance of the Brotherhood, members found themselves (and find themselves still) in a consecrated church, or chapel, or oratory, work the Catholic religious liturgies prescribed in detail by the Bishop of the Diocese competent, under the guide of a Master of the Brotherhood and in any case always of a diocesan priest.

During these meetings often the sacred Scriptures in Italian were, and are still read today, and representations of sacred Scripture were made for the people, often illiterate especially in religious matters.

In addition to these practices, the Brothers had and have especially the task of assisting the sick, of the suffrage of the dead, of organizing Catholic funerals for the dead, especially if with little economic means, of providing charity towards the poor and foreigners, of collect sums to be allocated to alms for orphans or to provide for the dowry of girls without a minimum economic possibility; moreover, at one time they provided great religious assistance to those sentenced to death and prisoners.





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