On April 11, 1380, King Peter III the Ceremonious valued and accepted positively the help given to the “shameful poor” from the Church of Pi. The work was nourished by the testamentary leaves, by the alms of the parishioners and by the collections made by the “baciners” or administrators. Since then and up to the present day, this charitable work has helped people who, having enjoyed a stable position, suffer circumstantially economic hardship. Currently, the Plato del Pobre has the resources derived from a few old and scarce incomes and the alms of the two little boxes of the church.
In the current social situation in which, according to Càritas Diocesana de Barcelona, two out of ten people in our country are in a situation of relative poverty, the existence of this work, which has been in operation since the 14th century to the present day, makes more sense than ever.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Of all the parish charities in Barcelona, the one in the parish of Santa María del Pi is the one that has kept almost all the documentation in a 15th-century carved wooden chest that you can see in the Treasure Room. In the case of the Plato del Pobre vergüenza of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi, three administrators or potty chairs were chosen annually from among the parishioners who were known for their kindness and entrusted them with the mission of distributing the potty resources according to the rules of the Institution. The honesty of these administrators was very important and in case of embezzlement they might even have to stop living in the parish district. In addition, these three potty-trainers were in charge every Sunday and festive to put themselves at the doors of the conventual churches of the district or in squares and other places as the New square, the portal of the Boqueria, the Seat, the Carmen, the Friars of the Sachs and the square of the Pi. In this way they got money that was kept in a box until it was distributed only to the parishioners of the parish of Pi and not to the poor on the street. Another way to finance this was through donations and bequests, which helped to obtain a significant amount of assets.
THE POOR MAN’S DISH TODAY
The Plato del Pobre Foundation is aware of the increasing difficulties of many families and elderly people who live alone in the environment of our parish of Santa Maria del Pi. It is true that times have changed and not for the better in aspects such as the poverty rate, but the spirit of the Plato del Pobre wants to be the modern version of the “Viejo Plato del Pobre Medieval”. Thus, families and older people continue to be helped discreetly. The only source of income of the Foundation is the donations of those who, knowing the Work, make their contributions to the little boxes in the Basilica, in the chapel of the Virgen de los Desamparados and in the entrance to the Capilla de la Sangre. We therefore encourage you to collaborate with this Foundation, either with your donations to the little boxes or with deposits to the current account you will find at the bottom of the page.
The following is a summary of the movements in fiscal year 2017:
|Deposits from the boxes||18.910,70 €|
|Mass Collections||202,69 €|
|Bank interest||169,00 €|
|Total Receipts||25.349,26 €|
|Auxiliaries distributed throughout the year||24.291,72|
|Other expenses||82,15 €|
|Closing balance||975,39 €|
El Plato del Pobre is a Private Foundation with eight patrons who make up the Board in accordance with Canonical Statutes approved by the Archbishop of the Dòcesi de Barcelona. You can help the Plato del Pobre by making your contribution to the checking account 2100-3282-61-2100513304. If you wish to receive your donation, you must send a copy of the transfer receipt to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send it to us by ordinary mail or deliver it personally in the parish of Pi (Plaça del Pi, 7, 08002, Barcelona) to the attention of the Foundation Plat del Pobre.