Qualification for Associates includes those women and men who, due to family traditions and a life in conformity with the dictates of the Catholic religion, vow to offer themselves to the pursuit of the institutional goals of Pio Monte della Misericordia.
The Associates participate in the charitable activities with their own personal contribution and meet in the Assembly, in the large hall, twice a year. Amongst the primary items on the agenda of the Assembly are the approval of the Budget, the election of new Governors, the admission of new members and any other issue that requires assembly approval.
The role played by women in the institution is of particular importance: it was in 1611, just nine years after its foundation, that the Governors decided to admit women as Dame Benefactors, to better assist the weaker, more vulnerable sectors of the population.
It was only in 1965 that the Assembly awarded women the status of Associate, including the right to vote. In 2004, after four centuries, the first female Governor was elected, the Noblewoman Maria Grazia Leonetti of Santo Janni Rodinò di Miglione.
The art. 1 states:
«the Association called “Pio Monte della Misericordia”, founded in 1601…, has as its purpose the exercise, direct or indirect, of the traditional Works of Mercy, which constitute the inalienable moral heritage of the Institution, and of any other work of human solidarity, including socio-health assistance compatible with the needs of the times, the needs of the local population and the availability of the Institution, excluding any profit-making purpose”.
The Art. 2 states:
«The Institute also aims to conserve and enhance its historical, artistic and archival heritage promoting, as well, autonomous cultural activities or those in synergy with other institutions.»
The Statute, in its entirety, is public and can be consulted at the Headquarters.