Tradition and innovation in assistance in Portugal; Funchal’s Misericordia in 16th century

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Downloads (Pure)


The traditional charity in Western Europe, which was a common practice in the Classical Period, but without an official support structure and hardly organized in a formal way, will have in the Modern Period, an extraordinary development and spiritual power (Christianity) combined with political power (modern states). Now, the charity innovates, in assisting the most vulnerable, in an organized,
structured, and legally established form. In Portugal, at the end of the 15th century, Lisbon’s Mercy House was created, and, in the new spaces of Portuguese’s maritime expansion, we can see others Mercy’s House such as Funchal’s Misericordia (Madeira Island). Here, we have an unknown territory,
where everything must be started from scratch and what is traditional - the practice of charity - raises here challenges of adapting to a new reality - we highlight the words of Siza Vieira that can serve as a motto for this congress: “Tradition is a challenge to innovation […], and it is important when it contains moments of change” - and we are now trying to innovate in the way assistance is structured and how the population is supported, with a socio-economic, and even professional composition, distinct from that which existed in Lisbon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTime and Space
Subtitle of host publication8th International Multidisciplinary Congress PHI
EditorsMaria Rosário Monteiro, Mário Kong, Maria João Pereira Neto
Place of PublicationOxon
PublisherCRC Press | Taylor & Francis
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-26055-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-19722-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Charity
  • Innovation
  • Funchal
  • Misericordia
  • Christianity


Dive into the research topics of 'Tradition and innovation in assistance in Portugal; Funchal’s Misericordia in 16th century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this