The document we take care today is a faith of credit of the historical church of St. Ursula in Chiaia (or St. Ursula of Spanish Mercedari, or even Parish of St. Mary of Mercy in Chiaia). It is a Neapolitan church located in St. Ursula in Via Chiaia. The relevant area of the church was included in the city walls only in 1533 due to the expansion decreed by the Viceroy Pedro de Toledo, which involved the construction of several houses and palaces, including the most prestigious, which still exists, of Carafa of Stigliano, passed to the Giudice, princes of Cellamare, from which the current name derives.
The religious building, in the past, was nothing but a small family chapel built in the mid-sixteenth century by the Spanish nobleman Annibale de Troyanis y Mortella and dedicated to St. Ursula. In 1569 it was donated to the Fathers of the Order of St. Mary of Mercy, which, in 1576 demolished it to make way for a larger factory to which the new convent was annexed. In 1850 the church was rebuilt and in 1875 the cloister, which housed the monks’ cemetery, was demolished to make way for the Sannazaro Theatre. The monastery continued to be inhabited by Mercedari Fathers until 1923. The latter formed a male religious institute of pontifical right: the friars of this mendicant order placed after their name the initial O. de M. The order was founded in Barcelona on August 10, 1218 by Peter Nolasco in order to free the Christian prisoners enslaved by Muslims (for this, the Mercedari added to the usual three vows a fourth one, called of “redemption”, by which they agreed to replace with their person the prisoners in danger of denying their faith) and was approved on January 17, 1235 by Pope Gregory IX, who gave to the religious the rule of St. Augustine as a basic rule. Originally the order had a lay and military character but, from the early fourteenth century, the clerical component became prevalent, and the general masters began to be elected among the priests. The Mercedari were assimilated to the mendicant orders in 1690. In the spirit of reform following the council of Trento, the order was divided into a “shod” and a “barefoot “branch, then became independent. After the demise of slavery, the Mercedari specialized in teaching and missionary apostolate: after the Second Vatican Council, according to the founder, the monks took back the contrast to the new forms of political, social and psychological slavery. Today’s faith of credit dates back to 1827. The faiths of credits made their appearance in Naples in the sixteenth century to counter the rampant usury and were released by the banks. The faiths of credit were very similar to the current bank drafts and allowed an alternative to paper money since the share was transferred in almost unlimited and accepted by all public banks. After 1871, with the unification of Italy, the faiths of credit were not sent in the attic. They disappeared only during fascism, because of various decrees designed to remedy the problems of the lira’s stability promoted by Bonaldo Stringher and by the Minister of Finance Giuseppe Volpi. But its preservation and rarity are indicators of a future revaluation. Again we recommend the purchase at certified centers, that can also issue documents of authenticity , given the fakes found.