FREE Catholic Classes
( Latin hospitium , a guest house).
During the early centuries of Christianity the hospice was a shelter for the sick, the poor, the orphans, the old, the travellers and the needy of every kind. It dates back to reign of Constantine. Originally all hospices were under the supervision of the bishops who designated priests to administer the spiritual and temporal affairs of these charitable institutions . The fourteenth statute of the so called Fourth Council of Carthage, held about 436, enjoins upon the bishops to have hospices in connection with their churches; "ut episcopus non longe ab ecclesiâ hospitiolum habeat" (Manai III, 952"). In course of time these hospices of general character ceased, and special establishments were erected for the particular needs of the people. The term hospice began to be applied only to institutions in which travellers were harboured. Such hospices were erected in impassable and uninhabited regions and on mountain passes. They were generally in charge of hermits or monks. Their number greatly increased when it became customary to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land, to Rome, Compostela, Amalfi and other sacred places. They were supported either by pious foundations or the liberality of the people, and gave food and shelter gratuitously, for a limited period of time. In many cities hospices were erected for the entertainment of pilgrims of particular nations. The most famous hospice in the world is that of the great St. Bernard of Switzerland, which was founded by St. Bernard of Menthon in 962. It is situated on the summit of the mountain of the same name, 8110 ft above the level of the sea, and harbours gratuitously 20,000-25,000 travellers every year. It is in charge of Cannons Regular of St. Augustine, who are generally known as the monks of St. Bernard. At present it is occupied by 18 monks, eight being priests. On all the neighboring mountains they have erected small huts, which are connected to the hospice by telephone or electric bells. At the risk of their lives these monks, accompanied by their famous dogs, tour the mountains, which during nine months of the year are covered with deep snow, and search for travellers who may have lost their way or otherwise stand in need. Two canons regular, Contard and Glassey lost their lives on one of these tours on 19 November, 1874. The hospice that Napoleon founded on Mount Simplon in 1805 is also in charge of the monks of the Great St. Bernard. The hospice on the Little St. Bernard is since 1752 in charge of Italian monks.
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Saint of the Day for Wednesday, March 29th, 2023
Stations of the Cross
Mysteries of the Rosary
Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, March 29
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
First Station: Jesus is condemned to death
A Guide for Confession
Easter / Lent
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, March 29, 2023
- St. Berthold: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, March 29, 2023
- Prayer for the Sick: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, March 29, 2023
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 28, 2023
- St. Venturino of Bergamo: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 28, 2023
- Prayer to Serve God Well: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Saints & Angels
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.