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Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting Fuggers Into Heaven

Rita Wunderle and her neighbors can live in a certain Bavarian enclave very cheaply, so long as they pray daily for the souls of the Fuggers.

Mrs. Wunderle lives in the Fuggerei, a Roman Catholic housing settlement for the poor that Jakob Fugger "The Rich" built in this southern German city nearly 500 years ago. Praying for Mr. Fugger and his descendants to enter the Pearly Gates is a condition for living here, at an annual rent of 1 Rhein guilder, the same as in 1520. In today's money, that's 88 euro cents, or about $1.23.
They promise to say three prayers -- the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and the Apostles' Creed -- each day to boost the celestial ambitions of the Fuggers. [Link]

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