This term comes from the Latin word hospitium, which literally means accommodation. It is used to designate an establishment dedicated to welcoming people without economic resources. Hospice
Its purpose is to provide a place of shelter and maintenance for those who are destitute or in a situation of extreme poverty . As a general criterion, it is a public institution.
In Portuguese there are some terms with a similar meaning, such as asylum, orphanage , hostel, nursing home or mercy house. Although all these words are used to refer to a type of accommodation, each one of them has a unique aspect.
The word hospice is used as a synonym for an orphanage or shelter for children. Thus, orphaned or abandoned children are cared for during their childhood and early youth in these accommodations.
Asylum and nursing home are equivalent concepts. Despite this, the former is a disused word, since nowadays there is more talk about nursing homes or even homes for the elderly (the term elder has been replaced by elderly). Hospice
When the accommodation is intended for pilgrims, it is called an inn. If the reception center is for friars, it is referred to as a monastic inn. In Spain, hostels are associated with the Camino de Santiago.
the idea of hospitality
The terms hospice, orphanage and asylum share the same idea, as they are places where some form of hospitality is practiced. Already in Ancient Rome there were centers dedicated to housing the needy or travelers who did not have sufficient resources.
In the Bible there are many references to this concept. In this sense, Jesus himself asked for accommodation on several occasions. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who welcomed Jesus into his home, as was Martha, sister of Lazarus, who was also a very hospitable person with Jesus. Hospice
On the pilgrimage routes to the holy places of Christianity it was necessary to practice hospitality with travelers.
The first hospitals date back to antiquity and were originally shelters for sick people. However, the first hospitable houses appeared in the Middle Ages in the Christian territories of the European continent .
In the Middle Ages, hospital centers were also created, that is, religious orders for the care of the poor and pilgrims.
Currently, the word hospital has lost its original meaning, as it is used to designate a health center. Hospice