The Fourteen Works of Mercy

What are the Fourteen Works of Mercy?

Works of mercy are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors in their bodily and spiritual needs.
To instruct, advise, console, and comfort are spiritual works of mercy, such as forgiving and enduring with patience.

Corporal works of mercy consist of giving food to the hungry, sheltering the homeless, dressing the naked, visiting the sick and prisoners, burying the dead. Among these gestures, the alms given to the poor are among the main testimonies of fraternal charity and a practice of justice that pleases God.

Christ’s preaching presents us with these works of mercy to understand whether we live like his disciples. So let us rediscover the works of bodily mercy:

There are fourteen Works of mercy: seven bodily and seven spirituals.

Corporal Acts of Mercy:

1) Feeding the hungry
2) Give drink to those who are thirsty
3) Provide lodging for pilgrims
4) Dress the nudes
5) Visiting the sick
6) Visiting prisoners
7) Bury the dead

Spiritual Acts of Mercy:

1) Teach the ignorant
2) give good advice
3) Fix the wrong ones
4) Forgive the injuries
5) Consoling the sad
6) Endure with patience the weaknesses of our neighbor
7) Praying to God for the living and the dead

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The corporal works of mercy are found in a list enunciated by the Lord in the description of the Beatitudes at the sermon of the mount.

The works of mercy are the opposite of the works of war, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, nursing the sick, visiting the prisoner. But we are destroying crops, setting fire to entire villages and to the people in them. We are not performing the works of mercy but the works of war.
Dorothy Day

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