Pio Monte della Misericordia is a philanthropic, non profit charitable organization founded in 1602 by seven young men belonging to noble Neapolitan families, some of which are still in existence today.
These founders’ names are engraved on the plaque located in the entrance hall of our palazzo and are: Cesare Sersale, Astorgio Agnese, Giovan Battista d’Alessandro, Giovanni Andrea Gambacorta, Geronimo de Lagni, Giovan Battista Manso, and Giovan Vincenzo Capece Piscicelli.
Our purpose is the ministering of the traditional works of mercy to the poor and needy and any other work of human solidarity, including social and healthcare assistance, and excluding any profit-making activities. (art. 1 of the statute)
The institute also aims at conserving and enhancing its historical, artistic and archival heritage, as well as promoting cultural activities. (art. 2 of the statute)
There have always been, and still are, seven “Governors” (elected by the members’ assembly) who make up the “Government” (the board of directors) who, for a period of three years renewable for another three years, are entrusted with the organization’s management and amongst these the “Superintendent” is elected.
Members are women and men who, due to long family traditions and a life in conformity with the teachings of the Gospel, make pledges for the pursuit of charitable works, of which Caravaggio’s painting is the inspiring and symbolic “manifesto”.
Of particular importance is the role played by women in the institution since 1611, just nine years after its foundation, when the Governors decided to admit them as Dame Benefactors, to better assist the more vulnerable sectors of the population. However, it was only in 1965 that the Assembly awarded women the status of Associate, also giving them the right to vote. In 2004, after four centuries, the first female Governor was elected and in 2021 the first female Superintendent.
The first priority and indispensable mission of Pio Monte della Misericordia is to offer help to those in need (“do good works”). Nevertheless the seven founders, not surprisingly having entrusted Caravaggio with the task of visually representing their mission, also wished to represent a pathway of beauty as a value to be incorporated in order to “do good well”.
Today the beauty of art also contributes to “doing good” for those who experience one or more of the physical and spiritual “poverties” of our time:
– through visits to the Museum: the entrance ticket is an important source of financing for social activities
– through educational, informative, didactic, inclusive and cultural means: such are the tools utilized in projects to combat educational poverty of children, the integration of immigrants, accompaniment in the treatment of certain mental and physical pathologies, as well as urban regeneration.
All together the rich resources of Pio Monte della Misericordia – structural, artistic, historical archival, and most of all human – contribute to achieving important social objectives every year.
Pio Monte della Misericordia operates with a long-term vision by intervening on:
- EDUCATION and FAMILY
support for children subject to educational and economic poverty;
accompaniment and support in compulsory school courses
promotion of early diagnoses and facilitation of access to health services
- YOUNGER GENERATIONS
employment for youth
inclusive paths of social and work integration for people in fragile situations
support in situations of temporary or emergency need
All these activities are carried out by committing both our own resources (loans for use, income from buildings and land, museum ticketing, donations) and external resources (public project tenders) through the creation of ad hoc partnerships.
Pio Monte della Misericordia operates by favoring the exchange of experience, collaboration and co-planning. To this end it actively participates in local, regional and national networks in the social and cultural spheres. (Assifero, Via dei Musei, Active Education Pact, Law 15 of
Feeding the hungry
Clothing the naked
Caring for the sick
Giving water to the thirsty