From decadent medieval popes to modern televangelists with private jets, religion and money can make for an unsavoury mix.

But why do we think of charity as a good in the first place? The Greco-Roman world didn’t think so: they mostly thought the poor and suffering deserved what they got. It was Jewish thought, turbocharged by the teaching of Jesus, that transformed the way we think vulnerable people should be treated.

Fabiola, the wealthy noblewoman who founded Rome’s first hospital; Father Damien, the leper priest of Molokai; the Earl of Shaftesbury, who campaigned tirelessly for the rights of the poor and downtrodden … and innumerable nameless, forgotten individuals have shown what it looks like when Christians do take seriously the commands of the one they claim to follow.