The Order of the Saints Contard d' Este and Julian, the Hospitaller
L' Ordine dei Santi Contardo e Giuliano, l' Ospitaliere ( The Order of the Saints Contard and Julian, the Hospitaller) is a Roman Catholic Dynastic Order of chivalrous and noble nature bestowed by the House d' Este Orioles and founded by S.A.S Antonino II d' este Orioles in 1860. During the centuries the Order has been one of the many philanthropic works carried by the d' Este and subsequently by d'Este Orioles family in Sicily to support the local community.
The d'Este family, in particular the Magnificus Don Domenico d’ Este Junior, founded the Rabico in 1603, also known as the “Poors patrimony” and finally as Monte Frumentario. The first Monte Frumentario originated to lend the grain and barley seeds to the poorest peasants for them to sow, and they had a notable diffusion during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Monte Frumentario’s function was to support the agricultural cycle. To this end, the farmers participated offering days of unpaid work (roadies) to sow and crop and the seeds harvested were stored to be distributed to the peasants who did not have any. When there were large surpluses in the warehouses, one part was sold and the money obtained was used for the creation of” Monti Pecuniari” aimed to lend to the farmers money for the costs of the harvest at a rate of 5%. The book “Tortorici, Le Chiese-Le Contese, Le Opere Pie” – written by the Historian Professor Sebastiano Franchina and edited by his son Piero- focuses in detail on the Monte Frumentario d’Este, which was the oldest charitable institution of this kind in Tortorici .