Saint of the Day for 24 September: Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede
The story of Our Lady who freed the slaves
Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede
O true fountain of life, O perennial source of all our health, O great Queen of heaven, Mary, I beseech Thee: turn towards me the benign eye of Thy mercy. Relieve me of the burden of my sins, and with the favour of your powerful intercession, and through the merits of St Joseph and St Camillus, patron saint of the sick, let me obtain from God, with the salvation of my soul, the perfect health of my body, and that grace of which I have so much need and which I commend to you … so that, being better able to serve and praise God in this life, I may one day come to love and thank him with you, for all eternity, blessed in heaven. O Mother of health, despise not my voice, but benignly hear me, hear me, save me. Amen.
Patron Saint of
Ceprano, Maiolati Spontini, Terrassa Padovana
Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede, Foundress under that name of the Order for the Redemption of Slaves. Her apparition is commemorated on the tenth of August.
The Saint and Mission
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede is an icon of redemption and liberation, with a mission deeply rooted in selfless service and the manifestation of divine mercy. Her figure is closely linked to the Order of Mercede, a religious order founded in the 13th century with the primary purpose of ransoming Christians captured by the Moors. Here are some reflections on the mission associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede:
Redemption and Liberation
The core of the mission associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede concerns the ransom and liberation of prisoners. This was not only literal, but also extends symbolically to liberation from spiritual oppression and the slavery of sin.
Intercession and Protection
The Virgin of Mercede is seen as a powerful intercessor before God, a refuge for those in distress. Her intercessory mission is a manifestation of God’s mercy, accepting the prayers of the devout and offering protection and help.
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede has inspired many to follow a life of selfless service, imitating the love and mercy that Mary manifests. This mission of service mirrors Christ’s greater mission of love and redemption.
Education for Compassion
Through the devotion and practices associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede, the faithful are called to deepen their understanding and practice of compassion, empathy and mercy, both in their personal lives and in the community.
Example of Humility
The Virgin Mary, through the title of Mercede, demonstrates an example of humility and total trust in God. This mission of humility guides devotees to seek a deeper and more authentic relationship with God, based on trust, abandonment and unconditional love.
Extension of Divine Mercy
The mission of the Virgin of Mercede is an extension of divine mercy. It offers a path through which the faithful can experience God’s mercy, while learning how to extend it to others in their daily lives.
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede represents a mission beyond time and space, continually inviting the faithful to embrace a life of service, mercy and selfless love.
The Saint and Mercy
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede, also celebrated as Our Lady of Mercede or Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, is an emblem of mercy and redemption. This Marian title has deep roots in the heart of Christian tradition, particularly connected to the Order of Mercede, founded in the 13th century with the primary purpose of redeeming captured and enslaved Christians. Here are some points that illustrate the profound connection between the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede and mercy:
Mary, under the title of Mercede, is venerated as a merciful mother who intercedes for the liberation of her children from the bondage of sin and earthly oppression. Her heavenly motherhood is seen as a refuge of mercy, an inexhaustible source of comfort and hope.
Redemption and Liberation
The mission of the Order of Mercede, inspired by the Virgin of Mercede, is a powerful sign of divine mercy. Their redemptive work reflects the mercy of Mary, who intercedes unceasingly for the liberation of souls.
Symbol of Hope
In times of despair and hardship, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede has been a source of hope and courage for many. Her image carries with it the promise of God’s mercy and the assurance of his protection and guidance.
Incarnation of Divine Mercy
Mary, in all her Marian titles, is an incarnation of divine mercy. As the Virgin of Mercede, her continuous role in obtaining grace and mercy for humanity is emphasised, showing the compassionate face of God through her intercession.
Educator to Mercy
Through devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede, the faithful are invited to reflect on the importance of mercy, redemption and deliverance from sin. Mary, as a model of fidelity and mercy, guides human hearts to embrace divine mercy in their own lives and extend it to others.
Mercy, which is the essence of the Gospel message, finds a beautiful expression in the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede. It invites deep spiritual renewal and a greater awareness of God’s redeeming and merciful love manifested through Mary.
On 1 August 1218, the feast of St Peter in Chains, the founder of the Mercedarians, Pietro Nolasco, had a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who made herself known as the Mercede, or Mercy, and urged him to found a religious Order whose main purpose was to ransom Christians who had ended up in slavery.
At the time, the Iberian Peninsula was dominated by heretics and Saracen pirates who proliferated on the Mediterranean coast, kidnapping many people and…