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An almoner is a chaplain or church officer who originally was in charge of distributing money to the deserving poor. The title almoner has to some extent fallen out of use in English, but its equivalents in other languages are often used for many pastoral functions exercised by chaplains or pastors. The word derives from the Ancient Greek : ἐλεημοσύνηeleēmosynē (alms), via the popular Latin almosinarius.
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Christians have historically been encouraged to donate one-tenth of their income as a tithe to the Lord and additional offerings as needed for the poor. The first deacons mentioned in Acts 6:1–4 dealt with the distribution of the charity of the early Christian churches to needy members. Popes, Bishops and Christian monarchs and organizations have since employed their own officers to organize their donations to the poor and needy. Such donations were referred to as alms and the officers as almoners and the position was one of considerable status.
The Papal almoner, formally titled the "Almoner of His Holiness", is a member of the papal household with responsibility for performing works of charity on behalf of the pope. He is one of a small number of Vatican officials who continue in office when a pope dies or resigns.Since late 2013, the holder of the title is Cardinal Konrad Krajewski.
Today in the United Kingdom, the office of Lord High Almoner still exists in the Royal Household and the holder of the office is responsible, amongst other things, for organizing the ceremony of the Queen's annual distribution of Maundy money. Associated with the Almoner's office is the Grand Almoner, a hereditary title in the hands of the Marquess of Exeter.
The position of almoner within the French royal household was that of Grand Almoner of France (Grand aumônier de France) created by King Francis I.
The almoner also remains an active and important office in the livery companies of the City of London. In Masonic Lodges, the almoner's duty is to oversee the needs of the Brethren within his Lodge. He is the contact for charity and looks after the welfare of the members, including visits to the sick, aged and infirm.
The title almoner was also used for a hospital official who interviews prospective patients to qualify them as indigent. It was later applied to the officials who were responsible for patient welfare and after-care. This position evolved into the modern profession of medical social work.
Royal Maundy is a religious service in the Church of England held on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. At the service, the British monarch or a royal official ceremonially distributes small silver coins known as "Maundy money" as symbolic alms to elderly recipients. The coins are legal tender but do not circulate because of their silver content and numismatic value. A small sum of ordinary money is also given in lieu of gifts of clothing and food that the sovereign once bestowed on Maundy recipients.
The Maison du Roi was the royal household of the King of France. It comprised the military, domestic and religious entourage of the French royal family during the Ancien Régime and Bourbon Restoration.
The Master of the Horse was a position of varying importance in several European nations.
An almonry is the place or chamber where alms were distributed to the poor in churches or other ecclesiastical buildings. The person designated to oversee the distribution was called an "almoner".
The Great Officers of the Crown of France were the most important officers of state in the French royal court during the Ancien Régime and Bourbon Restoration. They were appointed by the King of France, with all but the Keeper of the Seals being appointments for life. These positions were not transmissible nor hereditary.
The Royal Almonry is a small office within the Royal Households of the United Kingdom, headed by the Lord High Almoner, an office dating from 1103. The almoner is responsible for distributing alms to the poor.
The papal household or pontifical household, called until 1968 the Papal Court, consists of dignitaries who assist the pope in carrying out particular ceremonies of either a religious or a civil character.
Palatinus, Latin for "palatial", entered into designations for various ecclesiastical offices in the Catholic Church, primarily, of certain high officials in the papal court.
Court appointments are the traditional positions within a royal, ducal, or noble household. In the early Middle Ages, when such households were established, most court officials had either domestic or military duties; the monarch's closest advisers were those who served in the household. However, as time went by, most of these positions became hereditary, and their role in the running of the household was gradually eroded. In England, for instance, the Lord Great Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal were originally responsible for the running of the royal household and the royal stables respectively; however, from the late medieval period onwards, their roles became largely honorary, their places in the household being taken by the Lord Chamberlain and the Master of the Horse.
The Grand Almoner of France was an officer of the French monarchy and a member of the Maison du Roi during the Ancien Régime. He directed the religious branch of the royal household also known as the Royal Chapel.
In Craft Freemasonry, sometimes known as Blue Lodge Freemasonry, every Masonic Lodge elects or appoints Masonic Lodge Officers to execute the necessary functions of the lodge's life and work. The precise list of such offices may vary between the jurisdictions of different Grand Lodges, although certain factors are common to all, and others are usual in most.
The Roman Court or Papal Curia was reformed by the papal bull Pontificalis Domus issues by Pope Paul VI in 1969. It abolished the role of the old Roman nobility at the papal court with the exception of the position of Prince Assistant to the Papal Throne. The titles abolished, such as the Grand Master of the Sacred Apostolic Hospice and Marshal of the Holy Roman Church and the Sacred Conclave, remain heredity but are now purely honorary.
Exsul Familia is the apostolic constitution written by Pope Pius XII on the topic of migration. It was released on 1 August 1952. The title of the document refers to the migrant Holy Family, forced to flee into Egypt, taken as the archetype of every refugee family. Exsul Familia is the only papal document in which Pope Pius himself outlines the nature and extent of Papal charities during and after World War II on millions of refugees and displaced persons.
A chamberlain is a senior royal official in charge of managing a royal household. Historically, the chamberlain superintends the arrangement of domestic affairs and was often also charged with receiving and paying out money kept in the royal chamber. The position was usually honoured upon a high-ranking member of the nobility (nobleman) or the clergy, often a royal favourite. Roman emperors appointed this officer under the title of cubicularius. The papal chamberlain of the Pope enjoys very extensive powers, having the revenues of the papal household under his charge. As a sign of their dignity, they bore a key, which in the seventeenth century was often silvered, and actually fitted the door-locks of chamber rooms. Since the eighteenth century, it has turned into a merely symbolic, albeit splendid, rank-insignia of gilded bronze. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign.
A steward is an official who is appointed by the legal ruling monarch to represent them in a country and who may have a mandate to govern it in their name; in the latter case, it is synonymous with the position of regent, vicegerent, viceroy, governor, or deputy.
Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza (PCA), also known as “Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza ai Profughi”, “Vatican mission” and “Vatican Relief”, was a papal ad hoc commission, created by Pope Pius XII on April 18, 1944, to provide quick, non-bureaucratic and direct aid to needy populations, refugees, and prisoners in war-torn Europe.
John Gunthorpe was an English administrator, Keeper of the Privy Seal and Dean of Wells.
Pontificalis Domus was a motu proprio document issued by Pope Paul VI on 28 March 1968, in the fifth year of his pontificate. It reorganized the Papal Household, which had been known until then as the Papal Court.
Konrad Krajewski is a Polish cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was a papal master of ceremonies from 1998 to 2013. In 2013 he was appointed as the papal almoner.
Nicholas Apáti was a Hungarian prelate in the 14th century, who served as Archbishop of Esztergom from 1358 until his death.
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