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Definition of Piedad

Piedad, which translates to pity or mercy in Spanish, is defined as a feeling of compassion towards others who suffer or are suffering. It is also when an individual helps, forgives or assists another due to a situation that happens in his life that causes suffering or distress such as illness, family problems, economic problems and others.


  1. Help
  2. Compassion
  3. Mercy
  4. Help in difficult times


The word piedad is of Latin origin pietas which means devotion and this in turn from pius which means pious, devout or good.

Pietas is defined as a feeling that drives the recognition and fulfillment of all duties, not only to the divinity, parents, homeland, friends, relatives, but to all human beings, besides the lexical component pius (devout, kind), it has the suffix dad (quality).

There is also another word that comes from Greek, i.e., eusébeia from which the meanings “piety, holiness and religion” are derived. This word emphasizes the idea of piety and reverence for God, however, the basic force of the Greek word is much closer to the sense of piety.

This word is used in the New Testament of the Bible in 1st Timothy and 2nd Peter. Also in the Christian religion, this word seems to assume the additional meaning to denote “religion”.


The word in Spanish implies the denomination of a pictorial or sculptural representation of the sorrowful Virgin Mary, when she received in her arms the body of the dead Jesus.

This moment is reproduced, above all, in baroque imagery such as the paintings of “The Pietà” by Fra Angelico. There are also the sculptures of “La Pieta” by Michelangelo and Gregorio Fernandez, Juan de Juni and Berruguete.