God, the Father of mercy and God of all consolation and giver of comfort in all tribulation, by His great mercy sent Jesus Christ, His Son into the world to visit the whole human race which was on earth as in a prison, captive, in the power of hell and the devil, and to visit and free all those friends who were in that prison in the power of the enemy, and to bring them to His glory: not only these but also all others, who by grace will occupy the places of the angels who for their pride fell from heaven and became demons; so, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in Whose works there is no distinction, with great mercy and compassion decided to found and establish this Order called the "Order of the Virgin Mary of Mercy of the Redemption of Captives, of Saint Eulalia of Barcelona"; they named Brother Peter Nolasco servant, messenger, founder and leader of this work.
The power and intention of Brother Peter Nolasco and of all the other Masters General who have succeeded him, along with the effort and the work of the brothers of the entire Order have always been directed to this: that the Master general and the professed religious of this Order, with faith in Jesus Christ, with hope of salvation and true love of Him, Who, by taking flesh from the holy and glorious Virgin Mary, true God and true man in one person, and by suffering His Passion and Death for us, visited us -- in face he is always visiting His friends -- and freed those who were in the power of hell, the religious may work wholeheartedly and willingly and by every good work in visiting and freeing those Christians who are in captivity and in the power of the Saracens and other enemies of our Law, according to the good disposition and will of the Master of this Order.
To continue and to hasten this work of mercy, namely to visit and to free those Christians from the power of the enemies of the commandment of Jesus Christ, all the brothers of this Order, as sons of true obedience, must always be gladly disposed to give up their lives, if it is necessary, as Jesus Christ gave up His for us so that on the Day of Judgement, placed at the right on account of His mercy, they may be worthy to hear from the mouth of Jesus Christ those sweet words: "Come, blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was in prison and you came to visit me. I was sick and you comforted me, I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took me in".
Jesus Christ ordered that all these things be fulfilled in this Order to maintain and foster a work of so great a mercy as it is to visit and to redeem Christians in the power of the Sacracens and others who oppose our Law, since this is the very reason why God has established this Order.
-- Proemium of the 1272 Constitutions. This is still, nearly 800 years later, still a part of our Constitutions. Happy Feast to Day to all the Friars in the Order, and to those faithful and priests who have a special devotion and affection to St. Peter Nolasco and our Blessed Mother of Mercy.