Monday, August 2, 2010

Apparition of Our Lady of Ransom, 1218

This Scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Peter Nolasco on Aug. 2, 1218, for the redemption of captive Christians. Our Lady's request was for the establishment of an order for  the ransoming of Christian slaves. King James II insisted that the shield of Aragon be placed on the scapular. 

Our Lady of Ransom is a Marian title commemorating the foundation of the Mercedarian religious order by St. Peter Nolasco in 1218. This name derives from the Spanish word for mercy:The complete name of this order is: the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy -- Ordine di Nostra Signora della.

St. Peter Nolasco founded the order in response to a request made by the Blessed Virgin during an apparition.  The Friars of this order took a special 4th vow to act as hostages, if necessary, to free Christian captives whose faith was in danger from the Moors. This was important at the time of the Crusades, but has since been adapted to changing historical circumstances. The Mercedarians in Barcelona once commemorated this apparition on the first Sunday after September 24. Our Lady of Ransom is the principal Patroness of Barcelona. In 1696, the feast of Our Lady of Ransom was placed on the calendar for the entire Latin Church to be celebrated on September 24. The name for the Marian commemoration on September 24 was changed to Our Lady of Mercy after Vatican II.

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