La Orden Hospitalaria de San Antón en la diócesis de Baza-Jaén
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Universidad de Granada
Orden Hospitalaria de San AntónBaeza (Jaén)
Argente del Castillo Ocaña, C. La Orden Hospitalaria de San Antón en la diócesis de Baza-Jaén. Cuadernos de Estudios Medievales y Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas, 2-3: 37-57 (1974-75). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/30081]
The health of the population in the Middle Ages is a very important problem because of the terrible epidemics which, during these years, attacked the human being. In order to resolve these problems, the Hospitable Orders appeeared, and, one of those was the so called Order of Saint Anton, born in the South of France at the end of the X century. Its aim was to attend to the poor and above all, to look after the patients who were affected by the "fire" of Saint Anthony, a certain kind of erysipelas which dried up the limbs. The money which allowed the order to do it came from the alms and inheritances of the faithful. The alms were obtained in different ways: either the brothers of the congregation used to go from door to door in villages and towns, or in Vienne, after the cult to the body of the Saint and his relics, or, finally, with the profits from cattle, especially porcine, which was gratuitously fed by the faithful (especially the "marranico" of Saint Anton, which was very well known in Spain during the Middle Ages). These requests for alms, the only means of income, were disminished by the existence of false quaestors, by the retention of a part of those alms by the secular clergy and, by the superiors of the different provinces or "Pr:eceptorias Generales", who did not pay the pensions or careful managements in the central building of Vienne. This Order came to Spain in the XII century and from the very first moment it had the royal protection, concreted in ample exemptions and privileges which were conceded by Henry II of Trastamara. It was administratively divided in two "Preceptorias Generales": that of Olite, which included the territories of the Crown of Aragon and the Realm of Navarra; and the other one was Castrojeriz which had the Realms of Castille and Leon. The "Encomienda of Baeza", which was founded on the XIII century like an enclave of the Order in the High Guadalquivir, belonged to the last one. The most of the reconquested territories of the Realm of Granada were belonging to its jurisdiction. The convent of the city had a church dedicated to the cult of the Saind and a hospital which was kept by the alms got in the whole region of the Encomienda, because of this a lot of problems appeared in the Bishopric an Cathedral chapter of Jaen. The presence of the Medieval Order helped the creation of a series of associations dedicated to the Saint, which even existed after the disappearance of the Order.