Our Lady of Mercy (Ransom)

Our Lady of Mercy (Ransom)

In my reference book, Dictionary of Mary, it states that the feast of Our Lady of Mercy (also known as Our Lady of Ransom), was linked to a devotion spread by the Order of Mercedarians.

The Mercedarians were a congregation of men founded in 1218 by St. Peter Nolasco. Along with caring for the sick in hospitals, they were also known for their efforts in rescuing Christian captives from the Moors. The New Advent online Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that Peter Nolasco was requested by the Blessed Virgin, in a vision, to found an order especially devoted to the ransom of captives.

Again, according to the Dictionary of Mary, because the feastday of Our Lady of Mercy was associated with the liberation of slaves, it was “deemed to be of lesser interest for the Universal Church today and so returned to particular calendars.”

In an article published by Zenit in 2006, the Mercedarians outline the state of affairs today in terms of slavery: Mercedarians Spotlight the New Slaveries. Read it and weep.

So I say thank you to the Mercedarians for their steadfast efforts in keeping the dreadful reality of slavery (human and spiritual bondage in all its many forms) before the eyes of the world, and for their continued invoking of Our Lady of Mercy’s intercession for all of humanity.

Retablos

The image of our sorrowful Mother in the previous post is a “retablo” which I found while visiting the online art site at the New Mexico State University.

From the university’s website, we learn that “the word retablo, refers to sacred images painted on sheets of tin-coated iron which depict Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints and religious figures. This artform flourished during the nineteenth-century Mexico. The University Collection of over 1,700 art works during the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries Mexico is now the largest collection of tin retablos and related materials held by any U.S. museum.”

To see the university’s beautiful collection of retablos, please visit NMSU – The Collection. It’s well worth the visit!

Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows

Excerpt from, “The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life”, by Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (pg. 189):

From the moment when Simeon foretold the Passion – already so clearly prophesied by Isaias – and her compassion, she offered and did not cease to offer Him Who would be Priest and Victim, and herself in union with Him. This painful oblation was renewed over years. Of old, an angel had descended to prevent Abraham’s immolation of his son Isaac. But no angel came to prevent the immolation of Jesus.

The Holy Name of Mary

Yesterday was the feastday of The Holy Name of Mary.  I was reading St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Hail Holy Queen!, Chapter Ten of which is dedicated to the “sweetness of the name of Mary”. The chapter is filled with the thoughts of many saints and other holy people on this subject, and I share some of them here:

St. Peter Damian:  “The name of Mary came from the treasury of the divinity.”

St. Bernard:  “O most holy Virgin Mary!  Thy name is so sweet and amiable that it cannot be pronounced without inflaming those who do so with love towards thee and God.”

Richard of St. Laurence:  “Thy name, O Mary, is far better than riches, because it can better relieve poverty.”

St. Methodius:  “Thy name, O Mother of God, is filled with divine graces and blessings.”

St. Bonaventure:  “Thy name, O Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly.”

St. Ambrose:  “Thy most sweet name, O Mary, is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the odor of divine grace.”

St. Germanus:  “…as breathing is a sign of life, so also is the frequent pronunciation of the name of Mary a sign either of the life of divine grace, or that it will soon come; for this powerful name has in it the virtue of obtaining help and life for him who invokes it devoutly.”

♥  M A R Y 

The Birth of Mary

Birth of Mary 2

The Lord gave her [St. Anne] to understand that she should treat her child exteriorly as a mother treats her daughter, but that she should preserve interiorly the respect due to her dignity. The Angels venerated her as their Queen, in the arms of her mother, and those who were appointed as her guardians rendered themselves visible to her eyes; this was the first time in which she beheld them under corporeal forms. One thousand were commissioned by God to defend her, from the very instant of her conception. After they had rendered their homage, God sent the Archangel Gabriel to announce the good tidings to the holy patriarchs in Limbo.

[From: The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin, by Ven. Mary of Agreda, pg. 17]