76 34 Care of the sick in Calvariënberg. Iplague barracks in the Nieuwe Bolwerk outside the Helpooort the plague sufferers who had been concentrated in the openThe outbreak of the plague in 1631 brought new work. Somenuns risked their own lives to devote themselves to the care ofn 1628 the medieval institutions for sufferers of infectiousdiseases, the leper house on the road to Aachen and the were succeeded by a house for ‘sick, poor and infirm people’ on field outside the German gate. At that time, De Montaigne, the the Kommel, on the west side of the town near the second town clerk of the high court in Luik, was staying in the house of the wall. On Good Friday 1628, the pious Elisabeth Strouven settled sisters. His grand house in Hoeselt fell to the sisters on his there with five followers in a small town farm. The elevation of death in 1633, because he had been unable to repay a loan they the terrain, her special devotion to the suffering Christ and the had given him. No sooner had they moved into the house when religious feast on that day inspired her to name her new convent the plague broke out. The town council successfully beseeched Calvariënberg. Soon Elisabeth turned the horse stables into a Elisabeth Strouven to take on the care of the plague sufferers. private chapel and the pig sty into a ward for the sick. There was With all speed the sisters set up a hospital in the convent and a room for four box beds for poor sick women. In Maastricht in large barn nearby in the present Calvariestraat. They looked those days this type of accommodation was badly needed, after large numbers of patients, but over four hundred died, because many hospices had closed down or had been turned into including Elisabeth’s confessor and one of the sisters. lodging houses. Sick and poor people had borne the brunt of Two years later, the sisters faced yet again a heavy care these developments. burden. After the Meuse campaign of 1632, which had driven the Spaniards from Venlo, Roermond and Maastricht, the States General in the Hague decided to undertake a new campaign, this time from Maastricht, to reconquer all of the Southern Netherlands. Seven hundred southern troops were captured, two hundred of which were ill. The sisters performed their duty of care, although their efforts might be interpreted as aiding the enemy. Distrusted by the increasing numbers of protestant members of the town council from Brabant the nurses were not entrusted with large scale care duties by the town. Elisabeth Strouven did not regret this because she was concerned that due to the many extraneous work less and less time could be devoted to religious life. As a result the small community remained in the convent in Hoeselt almost without interruption.
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