Sept. 24: Our Lady of Ransom, Our Lady of Mercy.
According to pious tradition, Our Lady appeared to King James I of Aragon, to St. Raymond of Peñafort and to St. Peter Nolasco, at the same night, asking them to institute a religious Order with the objective of freeing the Christians who have fallen captives into the hands of the Moors.
On August 10, 1223, the Mercedarian order was legally constituted by King James of Aragon at Barcelona and was later approved by Pope Gregory IX on January 17, 1235. One of the distinguishing marks of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy or Mercedarians is that, since its foundation, its members are required to take a Fourth Vow to die for another who is in danger of losing their Faith. To commemorate the foundation, Pope Innocent XII created the feast and extended it to the entire Christendom in the 17th century
Today’s Marian feast used to be included in the General Roman Calendar of 1960 to commemorate the foundation of the religious order of the Mercedarians. Nowadays, it is celebrated in certain places, for example in Spain, especially in Barcelona where Our Lady of Ransom (Merced) is the principal patron saint; in Latin America, and by the order of Mercedarians.
Dear friends, today is a very good occasion to ask Our Lady of Ransom for our persecuted Christian brethren all over the world. Our Lady is our mother and like all good mothers, she always watches over us, her children, with motherly affection to rescue us from all dangers and anxiety.
Let us ask God through our Lady of Ransom to set us free from all persecution, oppression, and slavery, especially from the slavery of sin so that we can attain perfect freedom of body and soul to love God above all things.
Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom
“O God, who by means of the most glorious Mother of Thy Son was pleased to give new children to Thy Church for the deliverance of Christ’s faithful from the power of the heathen; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who love and honor her as the foundress of so great a work may, by her merits and intercession, be ourselves delivered from all sin and from the bondage of the evil one. Through the same Christ, our Lord, Amen.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS Facebook page and website. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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AUDIO SOURCE: “Salve Regina” William Cornysh by Zefiro, Marian Antiphons, Usage Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 in https://archive.org/details/Zefiro-MarianAntiphons_158
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT: A. Poyato, Nuestra Señora de la Merced Ataviada (Cordoba, Spain) in http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jCCiyC1vDOo/VCRvaBqyF6I/AAAAAAAAlwE/CJzHfZTJEL8/s1600/IMG_6693.JPG