Mercedarian Historical Survey



A Historical Synthesis

Historical Institute of the Mercedarian Order Rome 1997

Please note: An entire Section, including all chapters, (i.e. Section I. In Its First Century, Chapters 1-12) can be printed by clicking on that Section and selecting ‘File/Print’ in your browser.

See also the Constitutions of the Order (PDF).

Table of Contents:

1. Captivity in the Thirteenth Century
Captivity as a Social Problem
Captivity as a Political Problem
Captivity as a Religious Problem
Attitude of the Church vis-à-vis Captivity
Attitude of Civil Society vis-à-vis Captivity
Captives’ Paths to Freedom
2. Saint Peter Nolasco, Founder
Peter Nolasco’s Place and Date of Birth
Peter’s Profile and Work before the Foundation of the Order

3. Organization of the Order
The Master
The Master’s Lieutenants and Commanders
Lay Brothers and Clerical Brothers
The Donates
The Sisters
The General Chapter
4. Redemptive Activity
Collection of Alms for Redemption
Redemption Fund
Statistics about Redemptions
A Few Redemptions of that Period
Other Works of Mercy
8. Saint Peter Nolasco’s First Successors
Brother Guillermo de Bas (1245-1260)
Brother Bernardo de San Román (1260-1267)
Brother Guillermo de Bas II (1267-1270)
Brother Pedro de Amer (1270-1301)
9. Brother Pedro de Amer’s Constitutions (1272)
Contents of the Amerian Constitutions
10. Mercedarian Spirituality
Imitating and Following Jesus Christ the Redeemer
Love and Devotion to the Virgin Mary
Service to the Catholic Faith
Practice of Merciful Charity
11. Fruits of Sanctity
Saint Raymond Nonnatus
Saint Serapion
Saint Peter Paschasius
Saint Peter Armengol
Saint Mary Cervellon or the Helper
12. Mary in the Order of Mercy
Origin of the Name of the Order of Mercy
Mary’s Name in the Title of the Order
Images of Mary, Mercedarian Churches and Sanctuaries
Mercedarian Marianism

1. The 1317 General Chapter
Chapter Celebration
2. Father Raimundo Albert’s Constitutions (1327)
Clerical Masters General
Contents of Albert’s Constitutions
3. The Redemption of Captives
Evolution and Characteristics
Intervention of Popes and Monarchs in Redemption
Redemptions during This Period
4. Expansion of the Order
Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
5. Regulations and Government of the Order
Masters General of this Period
General Chapters
6. Cultural and Apostolic Development of the Order
Consequences in the Area of Culture
Pastoral Activity
7. Fruits of Sanctity
Juan Gilabert Jofré and His Social Work
Other Exemplary Religious
8. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy
Expansion of Marian Devotion in the Order
Mercedarian Marianism

2. Establishment in America
Preliminary General Situation
Santo Domingo, the First Convent of the Americas (1514)
Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica
3. Apostolic Work in America
Initial Activity
Defending the Natives
4. Consolidation of the Order in America
Religious life
Vocations, Formation and Studies
Process of Autonomy of the American Provinces
5. The Life of the Order in Europe
The Masters General
New Foundations and Residence of the Procurator in Rome
A Difficult Situation in France
Attempted Reforms
The Redemption of Captives
Cultural Activity

(1574-1770) Charismatic and Cultural Growth
1. Guadalajara General Chapter (1574)
Situation of the Order at the End of the Sixteenth Century
Tridentine Decrees Applied to Structures
Application to the Common State of the Order
Government of the Order and Masters General of this Period
2. The Redemption of Captives
Acts Related to Redemption
Ways of Collecting Alms and of Carrying Out Redemptions
Contribution of the American Provinces
Some Important Redemptions
Other Works of Mercy
3. Creation of New Provinces and Vice-Provinces
In Europe
In America
The Vicars General for America
4. Religious Formation
Characteristics of the Formation Plans
Mercedarian Colleges
5. Cultural and University Work
Sacred Sciences
Literature and Other Disciplines
6. Apostolic Activity
Evangelization of America and the Doctrinas
Popular Missions and Mission Colleges
7. New Legislation and Configuration of the Order
Father José Linás’ Constitutions (1692)
The Order of Mercy, a Mendicant Order
Situation of the Order at the End of the Eighteenth Century
8. Fruits of Sanctity9. The Mercedarian Family
Discalced Mercedarians
Mercedarian Nuns
Mercedarian Laity
10. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy and to the Saints of the Order
The Feast of Mercy in the Church’s Calendar
Liturgy and Saints of the Order
Renowned Sanctuaries and Images
Mercedarian Marianism

2. Situation and Suppression of the Order of Mercy in France
The Commission of Regulars and the Mercedarians
Negotiations to Resolve the Situation
Suppression of Houses
Definitive Disappearance of the Mercedarians in France
3. Situation and Suppression in Spain
The Carlist Reform
Napoleonic Suppression and Constitutionalist Reform
Liberal Suppression
Situation of the Exclaustrated
4. Situation and Suppression in Italy
Situation of the Mercedarians in Italy
Suppression Resulting from the Napoleonic Wars
General Exclaustration
5. Situation of the Order of Mercy in America
Situation of the American Provinces
The Mercedarians and Pro-Independence Movements
Effects of the New Political Régime
Reform of the Provinces of America
6. Government of the Order
The Masters General until 1834
The Vicars General from 1834 to 1880
Election of Master General Peter Armengol Valenzuela
7. Apostolic Activity
The Redemption of Captives
Social Works
8. Fruits of Sanctity9. The Mercedarian Family
Missionary Mercedarians of Barcelona
Mercedarian Sisters of Charity
Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy
Sisters of Mercy
Mercedarian Laity10. Mercedarian Marianism and Cult to the Virgin of Mercy

1. Restoration of the Order in Europe
First Steps of the Restoration in Spain
Generalate of Father Peter Armengol Valenzuela
Saint Adriano Convent and its Novitiate
Continuation of the Restoration in Spain
2. Creation of Provinces and Vice-Provinces
Bolivia Congregation
Vice-Province of Concepción, Chile
Concern for Restoration in Mexico
Sicily Vice-Province and Sardinia Commissariat
Roman Province
The Province of Peru
Father Valenzuela Is Reelected
3. Father Valenzuela’s Constitutions (1895)
General Congregation of 1893
Contents of the Constitutions
Complementary Books
4. Government of the Order
Father Valenzuela’s Last Years
Masters General of this Period
Reform of the Constitutions
5. Apostolic Activities of the Order
Redemptive Mission
Teaching Ministry
Prison Ministry
6. Religious Formation and Cultural Development
Religious Formation
Cultural Development
Historical Studies
7. Expansion of the Order and New Trials
New Foundations and Situation of the Order
Religious Persecution in Mexico
The Spanish Civil War
8. Fruits of Sanctity9. The Mercedarian Family
Mercedarian Tertiaries of the Child Jesus
Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz
Mercedarian Missionaries Sisters of Brazil
Federation of Sisters of the Order of Mercy
Mercedarian Slaves of the Blessed Sacrament
Mercedarians of the Divine Master
Mercedarian Laity
Knights of Our Lady of Mercy
10. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy
Spiritual Graces
Crowned Images of Our Lady of Mercy
Mercedarian Basilicas

2. Special General Chapter of 1968-1969
Celebration of the Chapter
Constitutions and Norms ad experimentum of Father Bernardo Navarro (1970)
3. Deepening of the Charism and Spirituality of the Order
Appreciation of the Figure of the Founder
Elements of the Charism and Spirituality of the Order
Manual of Mercedarian Spirituality
4. The Updated Constitutions of Father Domingo Acquaro (1986)
Experimentation Period
Extraordinary General Chapter
Contents of the Constitutions
5. Liturgical Renewal
Rite of Religious Profession
Mercedarian Liturgical Calendar
Mercedarian Masses
Liturgy of the Hours
Ritual of the Order
6. Different Forms of Government
New Style of Chapters
The Council of Provincials
Provincial Statutes
Provincial Vicariates
Interprovincial Meetings at Various Levels
10. The Mercedarian Family
Religious of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy
Secular Association of Our Lady of Mercy
Attention to Other Members of the Mercedarian Family
Mercedarian Laity11. Mary of Mercy or of Liberation

6 thoughts on “Mercedarian Historical Survey”

  1. The PDF link to your Constitutions is not working. Do you have the 1588 Constitutions written by Francisco Zumel and the Discalced Mercedarian Constitutions of Santiago?

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