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Title page of the Statute

Confraternity of Santa Maria della Carità - Diocese of Agrigento

Licata - AG

Statute - (Sicily)

  • Confraternity of Santa Maria della Carità

    There is news of the existence of the Company of S. Maria della Carità di Licata since 1503, a voluminous rule cited in some reports sent by the Governor Vincenzo Bruscia to the Episcopal Curia of Agrigento in the 1930s dates back to that year.

    Unfortunately, this document was lost in 1989, when unknown vandals, who entered the headquarters of the Confraternity, set fire to one of the cabinets where it was kept together with other more recent documentation.

    A Company under this title can be found in Bologna, as early as 1252, dedicated to assisting the sick, the poor, pilgrims and wayfarers.

    If we consider that there is a close correlation between the title and purpose of an institution, it is likely that this one in Licata was also born to exercise practices of piety and works of mercy towards the poorest spheres of the Licata society of the time.

    At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the merging into the Confraternity of both a good number of ecclesiastics and lay people belonging to families traditionally close to the Church, made people feel the need to place the Institution under the aegis of the latter, which also happened for other companies, which, although founded centuries earlier, asked for the recognition of ecclesiastical authority by virtue of the canons established in the Council of Trent for this type of institution. On the basis of a memorial sent to the Episcopal Curia of Agrigento, in fact, the Bishop Mons. Frà Vincenzo Bonincontro, with a bull of 16 July 1619, declared the Congregation of Santa Maria della Carità established. On February 14, 1625, the Statute consisting of 27 chapters was approved.

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