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Catholic Pocket Dictionary/U

URSULINES             

USURY             

 

This teaching order was founded by St. Angela Merici, of Brescia, in 1537. The object of their institution is to nurse the sick, teach young girls, and sanctify their own lives. It was known as the Congregation of St. Ursula. A bull of Paul III (1544) confirmed the title.

 

Usury, in its wider signification, means all gain made by lending. This is a sense which usury often has in the classics, and so understood usury occurs whenever a man lends capital at interest. Now, however, usury signifies unjust gain on a loan, unjust because not justified by the loss, risk, &c., of the lender or the advantage to the borrower, or because the amount of gain is exorbitant.

It became more and more evident that commerce could not exist without a rate of interest, and reflection showed many just grounds on which a moderate rate could be exacted. Such are the risk to the lender, the loss to which he is put by the want of capital with which he might trade and the fruit which the money yields. It was long, however, before opinion adapted itself to new circumstances.

 








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