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May 12, world nurses day

Sisters and brothers of mercy (the Beginning of the article)
The care of the sick and wounded

persons who have voluntarily devoted themselves to caring for the sick and wounded. The Christian Church in the first century of its existence, took care of the poor and the sick: this was the duty of the deacons, and they helped the women, the deaconesses, women deacons were often entered face of the noblest names and even members of the tsarist family.

With the establishment of the knightly orders, some of them devoted themselves primarily to patient care, such as the order of Saint Lazarus in Jerusalem (the purpose of the order was the care of lepers). By the eleventh century, is the appearance of begin (beguinae) — communities of women and girls, resulting in many cities in the Netherlands and Germany for deeds of mercy and to care for the sick; they have survived to the present time in the Netherlands.

From the XII century appear spiritual guardianship of patients, hospital brothers and sisters, who are dedicated exclusively to the care of the sick. These include: the order of the "brothers of charity", founded in 1540 in Spain; the community "Elizavetino", existing from XIII century in Germany; the community of "Sisters of mercy" (soeurs, filles de charit e, de la mise ricorde), founded in 1634 in France by St. Vincent de Paul, etc.

At present in Catholic countries care mostly belongs to women's religious orders. In the Protestant States for the care of patients with nineteenth century there is an Institute of deaconesses, a supposed pastor Fligner, who in 1836 founded in Kaiserswerth on the Rhine Rhine-Westphalian community of deaconesses. Sisters are accepted into the Deaconess community, the Church ceremony, only after the test, continued more or less for a long time; no promises of the oath are not allowed; sisters retained a link with his family, continue to own private property, but manages the community, caring in case of sickness and old age;they have the right to marry and to return to parents requiring care for themselves.

In 1892 there was over 60 communities of deaconesses with 8500 sisters and 1780 institutions, including 39 communities in Germany, communities in the East (in Constantinople, Smyrna, Beirut, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Cairo) and Protestant churches in Russia (in St. Petersburg, Mitau, Riga, Reval, Helsingfors, Vyborg, Saratov). Starting from the middle of the XIX century by Catholic nuns and Protestant the deaconesses are active workers in the war, rendering invaluable service in caring for the wounded soldiers.

In most countries, as the training of sisters to the activities of the wartime and most of their equipment for war is now the duty of red cross societies. For the first time, women in wartime began to be used during the Crimean campaign, when the Englishwoman miss Nightingale (Nigthingale) with 40 women went in 1854 to the theatre of war and remained there until 1856, since that time, all European States formed society, having the aim of training in time of peace for the war nursing staff.

In Russia, as in Western Europe, until the mid-nineteenth century to well-organized assistance to the wounded did not exist. In 1844 he established, on the initiative of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna and Princess Therese of Oldenburg, the oldest in Russia the Holy Trinity community of the sisters of mercy, the spirit and intent reminiscent of the European Catholic community and pursuing a very extensive task (the care of patients, care for abandoned children, fallen women, etc.).

When the community was a hospital, asylum and school for children, a refuge for fallen women, etc. over time most of these facilities ceased operations, and community activities went mainly for the provision of care to patients. In 1854 during the Crimean war, the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna established the Holy cross community of sisters of mercy, intended mainly to supply assistance to the wounded and sick in time of war.Conscious that when insufficient numbers of medical and health personnel, the government one is not able to ensure the fate of masses of sick and wounded, the Grand Duchess decided to make the female care for them in place of military action.

Establishing the community, the Grand Duchess sent to Crimea and then in other places a few squads of sisters of charity, who was running Pirogov; the total number of sisters from the community on the theater of war reached 250. In addition, were sent "tender-hearted widow" (see) of St. Petersburg and Moscow widows ' houses and sisters from "the Odessa hospice compassionate widows".

The idea to send women to the theater of war was adopted in disbelief, but through its activities the sisters of charity were beyond praise; they cared for the sick, helped in operations, monitored food and clothing the sick, comforted the dying, meekly endured all the horrors of war. In the care of the sick sisters made no distinction between own and enemy soldiers. Of the 120 sisters of the Holy cross community, situated in the Crimea, 10 died from contagious diseases.

In 1859 was established by Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna Pokrovskaya community of sisters of mercy in St. Petersburg; in 1863, is arranged in kN. Galitzine shelter nonresident nuns in Moscow with hospital and community nurses; in 1865 established the rural community of the sisters of mercy under the name of the community of Mary Magdalene, etc. In 1869 was given to the Minister of the interior to allow the opening of institutions with the aim of training the sisters and brothers of mercy.

With the establishment of the red cross Society it has assumed the care of the training of experienced female nursing staff for the needs of war-time: all newly opened community of the sisters of mercy are the introduction of the red cross. More >>


The continuation of the article brothers and sisters of mercy

In writing this article uses material from
Encyclopedic dictionary of F. A. Brockhaus and I. A. Efron (1890-1907).


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