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Misericórdia's Institutional Organization

Throughout its history, the Misericórdia of Vila Real had several commitments and bylaws, documents that structured its organization, operation and beneficent action. The foundation of any Misericórdia had to go through a request to the king, with the aim of establishing its institutional life according to the bylaws of the Misericórdia of Lisbon, placing themselves under royal protection, and obtaining, whenever possible, the privileges and benefits similar to those granted to the Misericórdia of Lisbon, adjusted, of course, to the specific reality of each borough.

Usually, the early bylaws simply adopted the bylaws of the Misericórdia of Lisbon, as it happened, for example, with the bylaws of the Misericórdia of Chaves, in 1525. The bylaws of the Misericórdia of Lisbon, reformed in 1618, came to be adopted by the Misericórdias then existing, and by those that were created thereafter.

The definition, composition and duties of the body of brothers, the way for they acceptance and dismissal, the rules of the elections for the governing bodies, their tasks and meeting days, were fixed by the respective bylaws.