FRANCISCANS AND MEDICINE IN HERZEGOVINA
In the introductory part the author summarizes almost the eight-century-long presence of the Franciscans in the area of today's Herzegovina and their pastoral/religious and socio-cultural/charitable work. As early as in the 13th century the Franciscans brought from Dubrovnik the first experiences from the period of the so-called monastery medicine, and they soon erected five monasteries with special rooms for the pharmacy, which were designed for the needs of the brethren and the neighbouring population. Although in the Turkish period they lived and worked in difficult circumstances the Franciscans were helping everybody regardless of faith; a Decision of the Congregation “De propaganda fide” defined the medical treatment of the Catholic and non-Catholic (Muslim and Orthodox) population. Apart from the Franciscans who had been practicing traditional folk treatment, since the 18th century there have appeared a number of Franciscans with proper medical education acquired at the faculties in Italy, Austria and Hungary. Some of them won recognition as authors of valuable medical books. In medicine and pharmacy the Franciscans have been present in Herzegovina up to date.
Key words: history of medicine, 13-20th century period, ethno-medicine, Franciscans, Herzegovina