Free Healthcare at Hôtel-Dieu de Québec

The Augustinian’s hospital work greatly impresses Le Monastère’s visitors, especially when they learn that in the past, most care was provided for free. According to the museum’s guides, the origin of healthcare funding raises important questions for visitors. How can a religious community provide care at no cost? It is important to qualify, because some patients paid pension, depending on their financial capacity. Here is some explanation about the costs related to the care provided at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec.

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The Wax Jesus

For practicing Catholics, it is customary to place a Nativity scene at the foot of the Christmas tree as the Holidays approach. In the past, according to Augustinians sister’s memories, each department in the Hôtel-Dieu de Quebec Hospital was adorned with a Christmas crêche that included a little Jesus, which was made of wax in the monastery. For the Augustinian sisters, making the wax infant Jesus with red cheeks and baby face has a spiritual importance.

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Spanish Flu: Providing Care During a Pandemic

Caring for the poor at a time when many diseases could spread rapidly and turn into epidemics carried was highly risky for nuns. Tuberculosis, for example, was one of the most devastating infections at the turn of the 20th century. Self-sacrifice took on a whole new meaning for nuns who, while trying to relieve sick people’s suffering, sometimes lost their own lives.

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