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.

Divine Mercy Sunday: Mary, Mother of Mercy



“As Mother of Mercy, Mary reminds us that if God is Being, Truth and Wisdom, He is also Goodness and Love, and that His infinite Mercy, which is the radiation of His Goodness, flows from His love…”

[From:  The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life:  Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, pg. 224]

Her Own

hail-holy-queen-st-alphonsus-liguoriExcerpt from:  Hail Holy Queen!, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, pgs. 44-45:

Mary is the Mother of sinners who wish to repent, and as a mother she cannot do otherwise than compassionate them; nay more, she seems to feel the miseries of her poor children as if they were her own.  When the Canaanitish woman begged Our Lord to deliver her daughter from the devil who possessed her, she said, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil.”  But since the daughter, and not the mother, was tormented, she should rather have said, “Lord, take compassion on my daughter:” and not, Have mercy on me; but no, she said, “Have mercy on me,” and she was right; for the sufferings of children are felt by their mother as if they were their own.  And it is precisely thus, says Richard of St. Laurence, that Mary prays to God when she recommends a sinner to Him who has had recourse to her; she cries out for the sinful soul, “Have mercy on me!”  “My Lord,” she seems to say, “this poor soul that is in sin is my daughter, and therefore, pity not so much her as me, who am her mother.”

Would that all sinners had recourse to this sweet Mother!  for then certainly all would be pardoned by God.  “O Mary,” exclaims St. Bonaventure, in rapturous astonishment, “thou embracest with maternal affections a sinner despised by the whole world, nor dost thou leave him until thou hast reconciled the poor creature with his Judge;” meaning that the sinner, whilst in the state of sin, is hated and loathed by all, even by inanimate creatures; fire, air, and earth would chastise him, and avenge the honor of their outraged Lord.  But if this unhappy creature flies to Mary, will Mary reject him?  Oh, no:  provided he goes to her for help, and in order to amend, she will embrace him with the affection of a mother, and will not let him go, until, by her powerful intercession, she has reconciled him with God, and reinstated him in grace.