From Dr. Jerry Newcombe: It’s a good thing our current administration wasn’t around in the 4th century when St. Basil of Caesarea invented what writer George Grant calls “the first non-ambulatory hospital” in history, i.e., a medical facility with beds.
Pouring forth the love of Jesus Christ, the good saint who lived in the Mediterranean port city northwest of Jerusalem is credited with this humanitarian development of the institution of the hospital. Roberto Margotta, author of “The Story of Medicine,” says of Basil’s hospital, that the “rule of love” prevailed, with the “care and comfort of the sick.”
The longest lasting hospital that still operates (no pun intended) is Hotel Dieu (i.e., God Hospital) in Paris founded in the year of our Lord 600. It borders Notre Dame Cathedral.
In the New World, the oldest, still-operating medical facility is Jesus of Nazareth Hospital in Mexico City, founded in 1524.
In many other places and times, Christians of various stripes started all sorts of hospitals and health clinics. That’s true across the globe. Even to this day, many hospitals show their Christian origin in their very name. Good Samaritan. Holy Cross. Christ. Baptist. Bethesda. St. Mary’s.
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