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Establishment and management of Misericórdia's financial assets

One of the most serious problems that the Misericórdia of Vila Real had to face almost from the beginning was its economic sustainability. To carry out its assistance and religious mission, the ultimate reason for its existence, in short, to carry out the works of Mercy, it becomes evident that this Institution, like all its counterparts, had to constitute a patrimony that would allow it to bear the expenses that resulted from its regular activity.

Its expenses were multiple and costly, regarding the maintenance of its assets; the payments to chaplains and other staff; the celebration of Masses; celebrations during Lent and the Holy Week, particularly the  processions; the acquisition of religious artefacts; the carrying out of funerals; and its charitable activities in general.

To meet such expenses, the incomes of the Misericórdia of Vila Real, from its origins to the 19th century, consisted mainly in the assets linked to chapels and masses in perpetuity, or loaned assets that required the payment of a pension or rent to the Misericórdia, either in goods or in money. Other sources of revenue, such as donations given by individuals or by the king, appear to have assumed little meaning in the life of the Institution.

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