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Photo: Secret society

Secret Deeds

Members of a secret society carried an ailing man to a hospital in Florence, Italy, in about 1910. As penance for their sins or to fulfill a vow, the mysteriously shrouded figures—who belonged to the Brethren of the Misericordia—carried the sick to hospitals, buried the dead, and collected donations for the poor. The society was so secret that members hid their identities even from each other.

Photograph by G. G. Hubbard, circa 1910
From 100 Best Vintage Photographs, 2004

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