The prepository hospital of the Holy Spirit and St. Leonard in Urzedów, financed by the local townspeople and confirmed in 1447 by Cardinal Zbigniew Olesnicki, the bishop of Cracow, was one of the oldest in the region of Lublin. As a prepository composed of a hospice and an integrally associated hospital church it functioned uninterruptedly to the end of the 18th century despite the fact that a new hospital was raised after the damage incurred to the town at the time of the Swedish 'deluge'. During the 1780s another new hospital was erected after the devastation of its predecessor. During the Middle Ages and from the 16th to the 18th century the hospital fulfilled basically the function of a hospice and not a medical institution. The number of the inmates changed depending on the given period - the largest, as many as 16 persons (13 women and three men), stayed in the hospital in 1637, and the smallest number - four - in 1682. Generally speaking, during the 17th and 18th century the hospital constituted a typically ecclesiastical institution invariably supervised by the Church. A certain impact on the administration and management of the hospital was exerted also by laymen, especially the townspeople, via representatives known as provisors. For all practical purposes, the system and administration of the hospital in Urzedów did not differ from the typical solutions applied in other Polish prepository hospitals. The Urzedów hospice was distinguished by the large participation of the representatives of the municipal board in its administration. Patronage belonged to the town, and was associated with the right, also enjoyed by the town authorities, to nominate the hospital prepositus. At the time, a hospital, conceived as an institution supervised by the Church administration, was a place in which great attention was focused on the development of the religious life of the inmates. Spiritual and moral care for the poor in hospitals and concern for their religious life were part of the duties of the hospital chaplain, the so-called prepositus. Hospital pastors in Urzedów not only provided religious services in the hospice and took pastoral care of the poor, but also oversaw all questions linked with every aspect of hospital life and, most importantly, had the right and obligation of supervising and controlling the provisors, as well as receiving their reports. The emergence of prepository hospitals was inseparably linked with safeguarding material foundations and granting endowments. Apart from the endowment provided by the hospital itself and its residents a separate benefice, composed of fields, gardens, meadows, household buildings and capital, belonged to the hospital prepositus.
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