L’œuvre des dames du calvaire :
Calvary Hospital was born in Lyon at the middle of the nineteenth century. Founded by some of the middle class of Lyons’ widows, this charitable work is intended for the medical care of women with incurable diseases and also old and disabled widows, whereas this kind of patients is usually thrown out from hospitals. Ladies who lead this charitable work get important powers and rights, in contrast to their usual functions in the nineteenth century society. However these prerogatives go hand in hand with a withdrawal from the world, with the abnegation of their own identity. In fact, the leaders of the Calvary Hospital have to live in community, to limit the most as possible contacts with the rest of the world, to respect very strictly the Christian principles, as their motto says : “ Charity, Humility, Prayer and Sacrifice ”. Beside the care of the wounds, the charitable ladies give of themselves a spiritual mission towards their protégées, who are fed with pious reading and other catechisms.Here the care of the bodies is nothing more than an excuse to supervise the souls, and the patients’ new joining of Catholics values-resignation, acceptance of God’s wills- added to the gratitude towards their benefactresses, allow the social pacification, one of the middle class of the days’ worries.
Sonia Reymond, « L’œuvre des dames du calvaire : », Cahiers d'histoire [Online], 47-1 | 2002, Online since 13 May 2009, connection on 01 May 2017. URL : http://ch.revues.org/443Top of page
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