This is a special feast for all who suffer any type of enslavement. The origins of the Feast can be found in the little known Mercedarian Order.
This was founded in the early thirteenth century by St Peter Nolasco
and St Raymond of Penafort (who can both be seen at Our Lady's feet in
the picture above) to ransom Christian slaves taken by the Muslims
during their frequent raids on Europe. The Order's original name was the
'Order of the Virgin Mary of Mercy of the Redemption of Captives of St
Eulalia' (an early martyr venerated in Barcelona). Christian captives in Muslim lands were a huge problem up until the
seventeenth century. Barbary pirates even troubled English waters - 466
English ships were taken between 1609 and 1616 and a thousand people
were taken captive after a raid on the West Country in 1625. We ask Our Lady of Ransom to intercede for Christians who experience hardships in Muslim countries today. Mother of Mercy, pray for us!
"...Bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters. Give ye a sweet odor as frankincense. Send forth flowers, as the lily...and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works."
Albert, by the grace of God, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to his beloved sons, Brocard and the other religious hermits who live under his obedience, near the fountain of Elias, on Mt. Carmel, health in the Lord, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit.