Ministry to the Sick
Part 2 History

Chapter s25 Late Medieval Period
[1300-1499 CE]

Secular History

Church History

Ministry to the Sick and Dying

Secular History

The Black Death was a devastating pandemic that first struck Europe in the mid-14th century (1347-1350), killing about a third of Europe's population, an estimated 34 million people. A series of contemporaneous plague epidemics also occurred across large portions of Asia and the Middle East, indicating that the European outbreak was actually part of a worldwide pandemic. The same disease is thought to have returned to Europe every generation with varying degrees of intensity and fatality until the 1700s.  Notable late outbreaks include the Italian Plague of 1629-1631, the Great Plague of London (1665--66), and the Great Plague of Vienna (1679). A significant outbreak of the bubonic plague, the Great Plague of Marseille, occurred in France in 1720-1722. As the source of this infection was directly from the Middle East, this outbreak is probably not a continuation of the Black Death.  ("Black Death."   Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 Feb 2006, 00:23 UTC. 11 Feb 2006, 02:06) 

 

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Church History

Ministry   All ministries are amalgamated into the ministry of the presbyter.  This one ministry does it all. (Bishops are the policemen who watch that the priests do it right.  Deacons disappear.  The laity pray, pay, and obey.)

1342 The king and queen of Naples "ransomed" the Holy Sepulcher and the Holy See entrusted its care and religious services to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

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Ministry to the Sick

Lex Orandi  The text of the prayer (i.e. what came to be called the "form" or essential words of the sacrament) understand the sacrament to be about the forgiveness of sins.  "May the lord forgive you by this holy anointing and his most loving mercy whatever sins you have committed by the use of your sight. Amen" -- This is repeated for each of the senses (by which one could commit sins).

1439 Council of Florence -- Decree for the Armenians -- states that Extreme Unction is the 5th of the 7 sacraments.  Sacraments have "matter" and "form."  The Matter is olive oil blessed by bishop; the minister is the priest; the form is the prayer while he anoints the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, feet, loins (anointing of feet and loins is added to anointing of five senses); the subject of the sacrament is a person capable of sinning and in danger of death.  [Duns Scotus taught that the "subject of the Extreme Unction is a person capable of sinning and in danger of death."]

Note:  The "elders / presbyters" of James 5: 12-20 has now become "presbyters / priests".

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter.  All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 09/11/12.  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org