The Office of Papal Charities is the department of the Holy See charged with offering charitable assistance to the poor in the name of the Holy Father.
This tradition goes back to the earliest centuries of the Church. Originally one of the immediate responsibilities of the Deacons, this duty was later exercised by one or more members of the Papal Household without any particular titular rank, something that was only granted later. A Bull of Innocent III (1198-1216) mentions the post of Almoner as already in existence.
The proceeds accruing to the Office of Papal Charities from the preparation of Papal Blessing parchmentsare applied entirely to the works of charity which this Office carries out on behalf of the needy who appeal daily to the Successor of Peter for assistance.
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