Leprosy was one of the most feared diseases in the Medieval period. The cure for leprosy was not known and the treatment was
usually isolation in hospitals or leper communities. Under law a leper had no rights, and under Church doctrines, a leper was
considered dead. A leper, unlike any other sick person, could not expect visits, for leprosy was thought, wrongly, to be extremely
contagious. Throughout medieval Europe gifts, tolls, and taxes helped to support leper hospitals. When lepers came to town, they
had to ring a bell to make sure that other people kept well away from them.
World Leprosy Day
January 26, 2014
World Leprosy Day is marked on the last Sunday in January. The day
was chosen by Raoul Follereau in 1953 to coincide with the anniversary
of Mahatma Ghandi’s assassination on 30th January 1948.
World Leprosy Day raises awareness in the world of a disease which
many people believe to be extinct. Now it is not just the disease which is
forgotten, but the people too.
Gandhi studying leprosy at Sevagram Ashram in 1940
Mother Teresa, talks with patients coming to the mobile leprosy clinic at Dhapa outside Calcutta, India
Im sick of leprosy, I come from Agua de Dios asking for help. A good hearts God has to pay
A woman tied a “rakhi,” “sacred thread,” onto a leprosy patient’s hand in
Siliguri, India, the day before the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan.
The festival is marked by sisters tying colorful threads around their brothers’
wrists, symbolizing the love that binds siblings.
World Leprosy Day 2014
Yanni Rites of Passage
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