From its earliest beginnings, the Catholic Church has always been a cornerstone of the development of the modern society we all have come to know and are familiar with. Did you know that the Catholic Church also invented hospitals? Read here: it’s true.

By the end of the Middle Ages, the Church had laid down a foundation of healthcare all across Europe, with hundreds of hospitals dotting the map. Specific religious orders also formed with the express charism of health care for sick and ill.

Women religious were highly influential in the development of hospital systems, as many orders of nuns provided nursing services in hospitals. (e.g. Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Daughters of the Holy Spirit)

Over time, the nuns expanded their range of practice and reaches areas without easy access to healthcare. They would provide comprehensive care for the sick at the estates of church patrons, acting as physicians, surgeons, and pharmacists.

For the Church’s – and sisters – pivotal role in the rise of nursing, nurses are still called sisters in some parts of the world. For example, the German for nurse is krankenschwester, meaning sick people sister. In Russian, nurse is медсестра, meaning medical sister.

In Spain, Ireland, Italy, and many south Asian countries nurses are called sisters because most of them are actually nuns, the hospital systems there are generally still religiously affiliated.

Many saints are the patrons of nursing: Sainst Agatha, Alexius, Camillus of Lellis, Catherine of Alexandria, Catherine of Siena, John of God, Margaret of Antioch, and Raphael the Archangel.

Photo credit: Euripides /
Get our inspiring content delivered to your inbox every morning - FREE!


  1. I have earlier hear that nurses are sometimes called ‘sisters’ but I had no idea his practice reflects the historical role of nursing service in general. As a Nursing Care student, I decided to devote my research to this subject and helped a lot with the content for my paper about the nuns and religious orders in providing help to those in need. It was interesting to read the article about women who served as nurses in hospitals and clinics, and why this term is used in respect for female nurses.

  2. Vapepapa Breeze Plus Flavors offers a delightful array of flavors designed to elevate your vaping experience. Whether you crave the sweet and tangy notes of tropical fruits, the rich and creamy essence of desserts, or the refreshing coolness of menthol, Vapepapa Breeze Plus Flavors has to suit every palate. With carefully crafted blends and high-quality ingredients, these e-liquids deliver a smooth and satisfying vaping sensation. Explore the diverse range of Vapepapa Breeze Plus Flavors flavors and indulge in a world of delicious options for a truly enjoyable vaping journey.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here