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
The Blessed Virgin appeared in 1218 in three separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymund of Penafort, and James, king of Aragon, asking them to found a religious order ( Mercedarian order ) dedicated to freeing Christian captives from the barbarous Saracens, who at that time held a great part of Spain. The Mercedarians' pious work spread everywhere and produced heroes of charity who collected alms for the ransom of Christians, and who often gave themselves up in exchange for Christian prisoners.
Our Lady of Ransom
Mother of Mercy! Virgin Mary blest
Within whose chaste, young bosom hearts find peace
And finding, know the real content of Rest;
The utter fullness that need never cease
Once one has known the safety of this breast;
Once and then many times when one has erred
And seeks mongst men a pity in the face;
An understanding in the stead of squared
Contempt blunt-meted out from every place.
To whom, then, can we turn and quickly go
Assured of mercy and the mother-strength
To lift us up! To whom, then, can we show
The contrite heart; the firm resolve at length
To keep our equilibrium of soul?
.... oh, foolish question uttered by all men
While Mary's heart-pulse throbs to be their goal
And bleeds its mercy ever and again! Amen