Triduum September 21-23 Feast
Ask Our Lady of Mercy
to ransom sinners from the captivity of Satan, and to free the souls in purgatory.
Mary you are favored more than all other women
on earth, for in the presence of our God you have aided us in our weakness. Rule over us, you and your Son, because
you have freed us from the hands of our enemies.
O God, Who through the most glorious Mother
of Your Son were pleased to give new children to Your Church for the deliverance of Christ's faithful from the power of the
heathen; grant, we beg You,
that we who affectionately honor her as the
Foundress of so great a work, may by her merits and intercession, be delivered from all sin and bondage of hell. Through the
same Christ Our Lord, Amen.
The Blessed Virgin appeared in 1218 in separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St.
Raymund of Penafort, and James, king of Aragon, asking them to found a religious order dedicated to freeing Christian captives
from the barbarous Saracens or Moors, who at that time held a great part of Spain. On August 10, 1218,
King James established the royal, military and religious Order of our Lady of Ransom (first known as the Order of St. Eulalia,
now known as the Mercedarian Order), with the members granted the privilege of wearing his own arms on their
breast. Most of the members were knights, and while the clerics recited the divine office in the commanderies, they guarded
the coasts and delivered prisoners. This pious work spread everywhere and produced heroes of charity who collected alms for
the ransom of Christians, and often gave themselves up in exchange for Christian prisoners.