Order of Mercy Pledges to Help Iraq’s Persecuted Christians

Amidst the glistening skyscrapers and plush resorts of the city of Erbil in northern Iraq lies a hidden tragedy. Tens of thousands of displaced Christian refugees stream into the area, seeking shelter from the brutal hands of ISIS militias.

Most Rev. Mashar Warda, second from right, speaks to the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy members in Nemi, Italy.

The sad story of homeless evacuees, almost completely ignored by Western media, is a replay of the same tragedy played out over the centuries, in which Christians and those of other religions were forced at the hands of Muslim extremists to either give up their faith or accept slavery or death itself.

In an attempt to offer help, a Catholic religious order, founded centuries ago to redeem such captives, has stepped in to ease the pain of the suffering Christians. The Order of Mercy, with members in the United States, has twinned with the Archdiocese of Erbil as an attempt to offer hope, healing and material support to those persecuted.

The 1.2 million Christians in Iraq have been reduced to 300,000 over about ten years because of the persecution, according to the official announcement of the Order of Mercy, known formally as the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.

Against a backdrop of a land rich in history, including Abraham’s journey from his homeland in Ur, the Most Rev. Mashar Warda, Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, accepted an invitation to meet with the Order of Mercy. The Order was meeting in Rome recently as part of its official chapter meeting.

“There is a real sale of Christian slaves, especially women and children, that they take to sell in markets,” Archbishop Warda said. “The Christians that do not flee must either convert to Islam, or pay a heavy tax. Many times, however, they are killed.”

Archbishop Warda spoke at the Order of Mercy’s recent chapter, or official meeting of the order. The announcement said that Archbishop Warda’s story “very clearly provoked” the group. “The Christians of Iraq are fleeing because of the continual persecution.”

Most Rev. Warda asked the Mercedarians for:

  •  Prayer above all else
  • The spread of information to others about these dire circumstances
  •  Economic support
  •  Support of the social and educational services of the archdiocese

The Diocese of Erbil is now welcoming thousands of families fleeing persecution. The Roman Province of the Mercedarians has officially adopted the Archdiocese of Erbil and has donated several thousand euro, and is now praying for the diocese.

A friar from each of the order’s countries – Italy, United States, and India – will be appointed to go on a fact-finding mission to Iraq to find ways the Order can help.

Most Rev. Warda asked that the Mercedarians:

  •  Let others know of this need and tragedy through the mass media
  •  Join with Christians in Iraq through their prayers, Masses and rosaries
  •  Sacrifice or fast from something important to share in the solidarity with those suffering

The Archbishop also asked for help in starting a Catholic university, which he called the Catholic University of Erbil. He asked first of all for teachers who could teach English.


He explained that as Christianity in the Middle East, and in Iraq in particular, is experiencing a critical stage in its history that threatens its very existence, the Catholic University of Erbil should serve as a contribution to save what culture can be saved. It would also preserve the identity of its civilization and its rich culture and heritage. This includes a people that founded ancient civilizations that once flourished in Mesopotamia and in the East in general, and offered the world its first alphabet, script, the wheel, school, literature and music.

The culture also served for centuries as a bridge to the East for transferring Greek philosophy as well as science and knowledge in general. Also, these people carried the Good News to Mesopotamia and to other lands and the heart of the East, as far as India and China.

The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, founded in 1215 by St. Peter Nolasco, is an international community of priests and brothers who live a life of prayer and communal fraternity. In addition to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, their members take a special fourth vow to give up their own selves for others whose faith is in danger. Their motto is “my life for your freedom.”

In the United States they are present in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Florida. Read about their charism at OrderofMercy.org/charism.html. Visit their Facebook page at Facebook.com/pages/Mercedarian/.

A Marriage Saved – A Mission Given


When Julie and Greg met it seemed to be the perfect match. They fell madly in love. Their temperaments and interests seemed to be perfect for one another. They complemented each other even from a spiritual perspective. Julie was raised in a traditional Catholic family which emphasized Mass attendance and proper behavior. Greg, on the other hand, was from a family which had converted to the Church. His family was not as devote as Julie’s family, but they were people of faith.

The early years of marriage were happy for the Alexander’s as they welcomed two babies into the new family. Greg was in the military and Julie stayed at home to take care of the children. The young family attended Mass each Sunday, because this was “the thing to do.”


With the happiness of those early years, who would have expected that dark clouds were beginning to form. Trouble really started when Greg left the military and got the dream job in Texas. The position offered a significant pay increase.


The Alexander’s were beginning to get a taste of the good life. They bought a beautiful house in an upscale neighborhood. Greg put his heart and soul into work, while Julie made new friends in the neighborhood. Many of these women were successful career women bring in large salaries. While drinking wine they would all brag about their careers and positions of prominence. Julie felt left out. Compared to these other women her life as a homemaker seemed boring and insignificant.


Finally, Julie made the decision to go back to work. Her persuasiveness earned her a job at a local fitness club. It wasn’t long till Julie also began climbing up the economic ladder. Her dedication and talents earned her a promotion to a position many miles away from her family. Julie would only be spending a few days at home a week. In her mind, Julie rationalized the decision as the best for her career and the family’s income. However deep inside her, Julie felt empty and “spiritually divorced from her husband.” Work gave Julie the affirmation and meaning that she didn’t     experience at home.


Then one day, the house that the Alexander’s had built on sand collapsed.Everything came to a head when Greg finally gathered the courage to say, “I am miserable”. At first Julie was taken back, but after reflection she realized that she too was miserable. She had been finding ways to avoid Greg and the problems that existed between them. The couple had been so busy making money and accumulating things that they rarely talked.


After a time of discernment, they decided to get a divorce, but lived in the same house while making preparations. Even with all their marital problems, the Alexander’s still faithfully attended Mass out a feeling of obligation. A new priest had come to the parish who was a gifted preacher. There was something about this man’s words that caught their attention. They actually “enjoyed” this priest’s homilies!


One Sunday the couple had the idea that they had to speak to this priest about their pending divorce. For both of them it was the 911 last chance that they would give God before making things final.


The meeting with the priest was an actual grace for the couple. They came to discover that this priest was a Canon Lawyer who worked for the diocesan marriage tribunal. Because of his position, he was not able to counsel couples.Instead, the priest gave the Alexander’s some “homework” to do in order to come to know God’s plan for marriage.


This simple step began a long journey towards an appreciation of the gift of the Sacrament of Marriage. They studied the basis for the Sacrament found in Sacred Scripture. The couple began to read the wealth of wisdom found in the Church’s two thousand year teaching on marriage and family. After reading documents such as Familiaris Consortio (St. John Paul II). Humanae Vitae (Blessed Paul VI), and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, they were blown away by the beauty and richness of God’s plan for marriage.


Like St. Paul, Julie and Greg Alexander had wasted years of marriage serving themselves and dishonoring Christ’s Sacrament. Only as they began to study God’s plan for Matrimony, did they realize what a mess they had made of their marriage. Praying together they promised God that if He would somehow save their marriage they would give their lives helping other couples discover the beauty of the Sacrament.


The Lord answered this prayer which He had placed on the hearts of the Alexanders. Within a few years, they were both working full-time promoting the Covenant of Love marriage ministry in parishes. This ministry is based on empowering married couples in the parish to minister to others. It is a five year curriculum which assists couples in living God’s plan for marriage.


The mystery of the Cross is that God chose to take something evil and bring great good from it. When the Jesus knocked Julie and Greg off their horse (Acts 9:1-10),he did not condemn them for their many sins. Instead, Jesus used them and their broken marriage to bring light and healing to other couples. May married couples never despair of their woundedness, but rather allow the Divine Physician to heal and strengthen their love for each other! For with God there is always hope and all things are possible!


The Alexander House


Marriage 911

The Election of a New Government and a Surprise Visit

The following is a continuation of the highlights of the Provincial Chapter in Nemi, Italy. The Chapter began May 30 and concludes June 6th.


DAY 4:



This day began with Mass in honor of our Holy Father Peter Nolasco, in this year especially dedicated to him on our journey towards the Jubilee of 2018.


The particular prayer intention was for the Mercedarian Superiors and the whole Mercedarian Family. At 9.15 am we began the session by continuing the reading of the reports. It was time for India, and the report was read by the community Edacochin. Then followed Elantikara and Cuddapah.


After the questions, there was a pause, and we returned at 11 am.

Information was presented regarding the communities of Munnar, Patlur, and Eraviputhenthurai. Then came some information about the vocational-formative work in the Mission of India.


Before lunch, there was an unplanned event: there was the singing of the National Anthem of Italy, given today, as it is the feast of the anniversary of the Republic of Italy.


In the afternoon we entered into the programming phase, for which, after the methodology of the work was given, we were divided into 4 groups formed by 8-9 Religious composed of those from Italy, USA, and India.


It was a good way to experience the diverse sensibilities and perceptions, and to understand the various languages, cultures, ages, etc. that can be gained from the lessons and examples that help to increase communion in the Roman Province.


At the end of the work by the work groups, we returned to the Assembly where the various secretaries of the groups gave a synthesis of what was said in their respective groups regarding the first area, the fraternal life of the community.


The path that was traced that will help us follow a journey which will bring us closer to the goal that we ourselves will travel for the next triennium: The first witness is that the Religious offer to the world is their own consecration, lived in fraternity in the local and provincial community.


DAY 5:




At 7:30 am, the day began with the Liturgy of the Hours (the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer) and the communitarian prayers.


Afterwards, we returned to the Assembly for the reading of the Verbale and the vote on the group work in the area of Religious Life.


A very touching moment of this day was the visit of the Archbishop of Erbil (in Iraq), Mashar Warda, who was present in Rome for a few obligations and accepted the invitation to visit the Chapter Assembly.


In the presence of all the Capitulars, Archbishop Warda gave information that very clearly “provoked” us: the Christians of Iraq are fleeing because of the continual persecution. In 2003, there were nearly 1.2 million Christians in Iraq, now in 2014, it was reduced to 300,000: in ten years they were reduced by 25% of what they were before, and the persecution continues.


There is a real sale of Christian slaves, especially women and children, that they take to sell in markets.

We then returned in time to that which regards the Islamic violence confronting the Christians that do not have many possibilities to flee: either they convert to Islam, or they pay a tax, or they leave. Many times, however, they are killed.


For us Mercedarians the Archbishop asked of us:

– Prayer above all else

– To spread information to others about this theme

– Economic support

– To support the social-educative services, and bring them forward.


The Diocese of Erbil is, in fact, welcoming thousands of families fleeing persecution.


The Roman Province has “twinned” itself with the Diocese of Erbil, and now, has remembered it in prayer and in the donation of several thousand Euro.


We continued our group-work for programming the next three years, and the evening ended with Mass and the recitation of Vespers in honor of St. Charles Lwanga and Company, martyrs, while the intention of the prayer was for the dead, especially those of the last triennium.




The day began with the Holy Mass and Morning Prayer celebrated according to the ordinary intention: for vocations and their formation.


The first gathering of the assembly was dedicated to the vote of the program, prepared by the Commission and then discussed in some cases, which was worked on in the four work groups.


As the vote was rather quick, we divided into geographic groups (one for India, one for the USA, and two for Italy) to integrate, if it was needed, the various areas of the program with initiatives and instruments of a more “local” flavor.


These initiatives were then presented in the Assembly and approved.

The election phase began in the afternoon with all of the Superiors giving their envelopes containing the verbale and the ballots with the votes for the new Provincial Government.


These ballots were opened by the scrutinizers, who counted the votes, and after the formal verification of the correct number, we proceeded to the scrutiny of the vote, at the end of which, Fr. General announced the candidates for Provincial and the Provincial Council.

After a break, we returned to the Chapel for a penitential service with the exposition of the Eucharist. Fr. Giovannino Tolu gave the Capitular Fathers a reflection on three biblical themes: the Transfiguration, the perfume of Mary that she used to anoint the feet of Jesus, and the raised hands of Moses.


The cry of joy of Peter in the Transfiguration is our cry: it is good that we are here! We want to tell the world that we do not know any other joy than to share the tent where Jesus dwells, brighter than the sun. newgovernment

Mary at Bethany loves without calculating and evaluation. For many, the Consecrated Life is a waste and Religious are wasting this life. However, we choose to waste it only for Jesus, and for the captives. Only with charity to the captives, the oppressed, the imprisoned, and the least of society can we feel the fragrance of God’s love.

Moses on mountain was supported in a way that kept his hands raised.

It is a mystery, the strength of raised hands.

Who prays is like one who has hands on the wheel of history.

Without prayer you go off the road, you do not get to where you want to go.


DAY 7:



With the Holy Mass of the Holy Spirit, presided over by the Master General Pablo Ordone, we opened the day dedicated to the election of the new Provincial Government.


The General, in his reflective homily, spoke of the Holy Spirit as a door to peace in the hearts of the community to help facilitate dialogue. A real dialogue, without closures and fictions that makes us consider ourselves all-important within this Mercedarian community that God has dreamed up for redemptive mission.


The Spirit helps us in our discernment to lead us into a profound and existential friendship with Him; a friendship crossed by the Love of loves, able to say it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.


The Holy Spirit opens us to the frontier mission, invited to go outside of ourselves, of our presence, of that which “was always this way.”


At 9:30 am, the Chapter Assembly, after fulfilling the rites, proceeded to elect our Fr. Provincial: the result was that Fr. Francesco Podda was reelected, and he accepted the grave obligation.

He then took the oath and gave the profession of faith.


After a break given by the President of the Assembly, we began the vote for the election of the Provincial Councilors.


These were elected:

– Eugenio Caramia – Samuele Salis – Stefano Defraia – Efisio Schirru


These, after the election, took the oath.


The Religious shared fraternal greetings of peace and well wishes with those elected.

XXXII Provincial Chapter of the Roman Province 


General Government Website



XXXII Provincial Chapter of the Roman Province


The Provincial Chapter occurs every 3 years. Superiors and those chosen as representatives “examine the state of the province and to foster its progress in all aspects…” It is also a time to “verify common work and seek together the signs of the will of God, with a great sense of responsibility in regard to the community that they represent (CO 242).” To keep all of our 3rd Order, friends and benefactors informed, we offer this short summary of the proceedings:


30 maggio 01
On 30 May 2015 at 9am, with the Holy Mass in honor of our Most Holy Mother, we began the 32nd Chapter of the Roman Province that includes 13 Italian communities, 6 from the USA, and 6 from India.

Present were all 38 Capitular Fathers; Fr. General spoke of Mary as a model of our Consecrated Life, and Inspirer of every Mercedarian work.

At 10:30 am, the Capitular Asslembly opened with the prayers prescribed by the Ritual, and the greeting of Fr. General which, making reference to the teachings of the Holy Father Francis, invited all to fall in love with the Mother of Mercy, keeping in our hearts attention to the peripheries of freedom.

Then, the Chapter passed to concrete aspects:


– Fr. General nominated Fr’s. Nunzio Masiello and Matthew Phelan as moderators


– He then nominated Fr’s. Aristotle Franco Wellesly and Sergio Girau as Scrutinizers


– The Assembly voted for the election of the Secretary of the Chapter: Fr. Stefano Defraia was elected, and Fr’s. Eugenio Caramia and Francesco Podda will assist him in his work


– The Liturgical Commission – for the animation of the celebrations will be composed of Fr’s. Pasquale Agostino, David Spencer, and Martin Naduvilezuthaikal


– The Commission in charge of Communications was formed with Fr’s. Sundar Raj Madalaimuthu, Scottston Brentwood, and Efisio Schirru


– The responsibility of the “Convocator” at various points was given to Fr. Justin Freeman


In the afternoon, at 4 pm, Fr. Sandro Barlone proposed to the Assembly a reflection on the Chapter as a time of dicernment, leaving some points for personal prayer and meditation.


At 6 pm, the Assembly held a session of listening and dialogue.

At the conclusion of the day, all prayed Vespers together, and celebrated the Saturday Mercedarian Devotions.



Today, in the Universal Church we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, which overrides the Feast of the Visitation, the titular feast of the Roman Province, which, however, we still wanted to remember.

At 7:30 am, we all returned to the renovated chapel for the celebration of the Office of Readings and Morning Prayers.


Special booklets were prepared for the liturgy with the texts in both Italian and English, as our Province embraces brothers of the two languages. This is why the liturgy was today, as well in the coming days, will have this diversity of languages, in a communion that goes beyond words and finds unity in prayer.


After the prayers, and a moment for breakfast, we returned in the Capitular Hall for the second session which began the Informative Phase.

The first to speak was Fr. Francesco Podda who, as Provincial, presented the report on the state of the Province and of the triennium which just ended.

We were given some information: as of 30 May 2015, the provincial community was composed of 110 in Solemn Vows, of which 96 are priests, 4 are non-clerical brothers, and 10 are Solemnly Professed and on their way to becoming priests, 6 of which are already ordained Deacons. The Religious are distributed among 25 communities, of which 13 are in Italy, 6 in the USA, and 6 in India.


At the moment, there are 18 Simply Professed in the Province, of which 2 are in the USA, and 16 in India.

There are no Novices, however, there are 17 Postulants, of which 2 are in Italy, and 15 in India.


Next followed the reports of the Vicar of the USA, Fr. Kenneth Breen, and of the Delegate of India, Fr. Vincenzo Pennella, who gave information on the actual situation in the USA and in the Mission of the India.


In the afternoon, it was possible to ask the three speakers questions, and then, as time permitted, we began to hear the reports of the local communities. We began with Alghero, followed by Cagliari.


At 7 pm, the Holy Mass and Vespers were celebrated.


The intention of the prayer today is for the oppressed and persecuted, while the liturgy reminds us of St. Justin Martyr: a beautiful event since two of the Capitular Fathers celebrate their name day. They are the Fr’s. Justin Freeman of the USA and Justin Alex of India.


After the celebration of the Office of Readings, Morning Prayers, the community prayers and breakfast, at 9:15 am, we had the session of the Chapter which took up with the reading of the reports of individual houses for those related to Italy. We began with Carpignano, followed by Florence, Naples, Nemi, Orvieto, and Padova.

There were some relative questions to be answered and clarified, then there was a break.


At 11 am, we continued with the other reports: Palermo, S. Maria della Mercede – Rome, and the Studentato (St. Peter Nolasco).

In the afternoon we took up the reading of the reports of San Cataldo, San Vito dei Normanni, and with these, we concluded the part related to Italy.

Afterwards we followed with information from the Vicariate of the USA: beginning with Mt. Carmel in Cleveland, and followed by St. Rocco (also in Cleveland) and Our Lady of Lourdes in Philadelphia.


After a break, we continued with reports from the Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy in Philadelphia, Le Roy, the Nolasco House in St. Petersburg FL, and the report of the Formators in Italy. The one responsible for formation in the USA combined the data of this area to the report of the local community.


After dinner there was a time of celebration in honor of the Community and of the brothers who were celebrating their name day, and we spend some time in healthy leisure.


Strengthening Marriage and Family Life in Our Country

On Tuesday, May 5th the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sponsored a workshop entitled Marriage-Centered Communities: How to Build a Marriage Ministry in Your Parish. This addressed the current state of marriage in the world and the Church and offered drtowerspractical ways that a parish can most effectively serve married couples. The first part of the workshop was led by Dr. Hilary Towers, a Catholic author and developmental psychologist from the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.


Dr. Towers’ presentation posed the question: “What heritage are we leaving to the next generation?” Much of her talk provided statistical data on the state of Marriage in our country. Today the divorce rate is 51% which is an all-time high. Surprisingly, new data shows that more Americans are getting divorced after many years of marriage. The percentage of divorces filed by those 50 to 60 years old is skyrocketing.


There are various reasons given for divorce today, but some are more common than others. The most prevalent is that the couple has “grown apart”. A high percentage also claim that they separated because of an inability to “talk together”. Other common reasons given for divorce are “money problems” and “infidelity”.


It is clear from the data that marriage as an institution in the United States is fading. At one time marriage was a part of the fabric of American society. It was expected that most young people would enter into this bond of matrimony in their 20’s and it would continue for a lifetime. Fidelity was taken for granted. Divorce and/or separation would occasionally happen, but it was a rare occurrence in society as a whole.


To be sure, there have and always will be legitimate reasons for separation, but in general the goods of a stable bond far out way the contrary. Studies continually show that a stable home with a mother and father provides that best environment for raising children. Married couples can model so many virtues for their children. The couples teach by their example the good habits of charity, forgiveness, accountability, and commitment. Even in less than ideal situations, children are often given models of how to cope with weakness and sin in an imperfect world.


America and other developed nations are entering into a new reality of a society without marriage. In Judeo-Christian thought, the family has always been understood as the basic unit of civilization.As St John Paul II states, “Human fatherhood and motherhood … contain in an essential and unique way a’ likeness’ to God which is the basis of the family as a community of human life, as a community of persons united in love (Letter to Families, 6)”. Husband, wife, and children show forth the Trinity in a totally unique way. This family is the ideal place for raising children to be responsible citizens


What if our next generation does not have the stability of the traditional family? We are beginning to see that millennials have a much less confidence in the possibility of commitments. Today about 20% of adults 18-29 years old have decided to cohabitate and/or not even consider marriage. There is in general a lack of trust in others and in the institution of marriage. On a purely economic level, the increase of divorce places more children in danger of poverty. It also puts a greater strain on government and state agencies to provide for many single parent homes.


Although things do not look so good for marriage today, there is much that can be done to help couples. As Dr. Towers says, “It is the Church working through the clergy and laity that will rehabilitate marriage.” Much can be done at the local level. The parish can and must build supportive communities of strong marriages. These married couples will become mentors of commitment for those who have none. The parish family also must pray for marriages at Mass and through various prayer groups. The laity need to encourage their pastors to preach about the Church’s treasury of wisdom on the Sacrament of Marriage. Parishes need to make accessible the practical components of a strong healthy marriage.


Things are not looking great today for the institution of marriage. The statistics show that fidelity and commitments to marriage are at all time lows. Yet, this basic unit of civilization is of inestimable value to society as a whole. For the sake of future generations, the each member of the Church must do their part support this Sacrament. Our gift to the next generation must be this: a renewed commitment to the Sacrament of Marriage.


More from Dr Hilary Towers:


It is time for the Church to face up to the crisis of spousal abandonment


A Guide to Saving Marriages


Time to Challenge No-Fault Divorce

Sharing of Faith and Culture

On May 10th, Fr Ken and I began a journey from LeRoy, NY to Georgia with a van packed with rCExBheZVIAEglUheligious goods. These items (statues, stations of the cross etc.) were from the former Mercygrove property which was recently sold. The proceeds from the sale are allocated in large part for the development of a new redemptive mission to families in the United States.


The first stop on our journey was to drop off several items at Life Teen camp in northern Georgia. It felt good to be able to give these religious articles new life at a camp which each summer is packed with teens and young adults.


After a two hour stop, we were back on the road bringing a special gift to our 3rd Order in Atlanta. Through these dedicated lay people, Order of Mercy has been present in Atlanta for 17 years. It all began in 1998 when a little woman left Rome and arrived in Atlanta, GA. Maria Virginia’s story is key to this movement which Christ would bless.


The spirit of merced or ransom was placed in Maria at an early age as she was educated by the Mercedarian Friars in Puerto Rico. This spirituality would continue to grow in her throughout her life. When her husband passed away in his 60’s, Maria felt the Lord was calling her to enter the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. After a few years of formation, it became clear to her that Christ the Redeemer desired her to houseblessing“go out to those in need” with the message of mercy.

Many extraordinary circumstances led, Maria Virginia to her mission field in Atlanta, GA. Seventeen years ago she set up her home in Georgia and quickly got to work. Maria got permission of the Order of BVM of Mercy to establish a 3rd Order in a place where no friars or sisters had been. With her deep faith, love for Our Lady of Mercy, and boundless energy this women was able to inspire many to follow the redemptive spirit of the Order.


Soon enough, it became clear that God was calling the new 3rd Order to assist the many immigrants who were coming from Mexico and settling in the Atlanta metropolitan area. These immigrants left behind all they knew seeking a better life. Yet their faith, which is the most precious treasure, was in danger in a new land. Who will teach them about Christ? Who will baptize their children? They hide in the shadows

with no one to shepherd them.


Fr Ken and I got to experience first hand the redemptive work of our 3rd Order in Atlanta. The week of May 11th was spent blessing houses and practicing our Spanish as we enjoyed authentic Mexican food with the the people. The highlight of the week was a outdoor Mass with many immigrant families. As we struggled to speak their language, they just appreciated the opportunity to come close to Jesus and teach their children how to worship.


On this long journey into the Deep South an exchange took place. We brought statues and religious items which are plentiful in the Northeast. These are aspects of our culture which have preserved the faith of generations. We experienced tangibly the faith and devotion of the Mexican people. Hopefully our ministry among them has strengthen and enriched the faith of all.


May Our Lady of Mercy place her mantle around the mission of the Atlanta Chapter of the 3rd Order! She who is the refuge of the captive and persecuted Christians, will surely watch over this mission to those in the are marginalized today.


Life Teen website

St John the Evangelist Church Hapeville, GA

Third Order of Mercy


The “simple friar” from the small town

Every family has it’s patriarchs or those who paved the way for a new generation. The Order of Mercy, being a spiritual family, possesses many of these friars who are deceased and yet live on in our memories. Today we remember one such friar Fr Luigi DiTalia, O. de M. The following is an interview with Fr Eugene, the Order’s novice master, who lived and worked with Fr Luigi for many years.

Fr Luigi processing at Mass
Fr Luigi processing at Mass

When did you first meet Fr Luigi?

In about 1967, I first came to know Fr Luigi. In the beginning, I had difficulty understanding his Italian accent. But came to know him, little by little, as truly a father for our community. He never asked anything from us what he wouldn’t do himself. He was a great community builder. A great leader of our community and a very humble friar.

How many years did you get the pleasure of working with Fr Luigi? (As solemnly professed)

About 6 or 7 years. He was superior and I was novice master. Fr Luigi always had a great sense of wisdom. He would say “Prudence and common sense are essential for religious life and for living the vows”. He just had great wisdom and advice for people for problems and difficulties. One of the things I liked about him was he would meet you one on one. Fr Luigi always kept confidences and really appreciated those who were in the community.

What are some of the virtues or positive qualities that Fr Luigi exemplified especially for a Mercedarian Religious?

I think he exemplified poverty. Very much so. He was a person who would be more willing to give than to receive. Though he, also, had common sense in poverty. We never starved. We didn’t have a lot of things, but what we had we appreciated everything more. He was truly a good religious. A kind religious. A genuine religious. He was honest and very sincere.

Fr Luigi accepts the vows of one of the friars
Fr Luigi accepts the vows of one of the friars

I think that not only the Mercedarians loved him, but the people in LeRoy, NY loved him. For so many years he was stationed there. He was known as “the simple friar”.

I think also he was a real leader who lead by example. He was a father to us more than a superior. He could combined those two qualities. Truly a person concerned about vocations. Concerned about the Mercedarian way of life and the fraternal life. This is one thing that he insisted upon. He and Fr Marciano really lived the fraternal life which is a key to understanding the religious life.

Can you tell me any story that you remember about Fr Luigi? One of those stories about one of our founding fathers in the USA that we can pass down from generation to generation.

I heard that one time he said in LeRoy he had difficulty with the language. He said one of his first sermons was, “I am Fr Luigi and I love you all!” This was because he had so much difficulty with the English language at first. He did tell a story one time about how he suffered in the war. He said that he was one of the “Brown Shirts” because they had to be at that time. But I don’t remember the details.

Fr Luigi (center) with several of the friars
Fr Luigi (center) with several of the friars

Lastly, I know that in those last years there was a time when Fr Luigi had a stroke. How do you remember those last years? They were times when you were realizing that you were not going to have this great presence with you much longer since he was one of the real “rocks” here in the US for the Vicariate. Can you say anything about those last years and how he handled the suffering?

I think that those last few years were difficult for him, but he still had a true sense of being a real Mercedarian and a real model for us in a different way. Though he often couldn’t be at chapel because of his infirmities. I remember him saying the rosary and always at the third hour, the Hour of Mercy he would put on the television and pray the Divine Mercy chaplet.

But what I think really was significant is that he never gave up during these times and he was very serene and accepting of his suffering. These sufferings are for the Order, for the Vicarate. Even though he could not lead he led by his prayerfulness and his holiness. He never gave up. Human existence we can get upset about things, but most of the time he was very accepting of his sufferings.

And, he tried as best as he could to lead others by his example and his advice. At times he would turn to people and talk to people privately. He would give them advice which was very fruitful. He was a leader then by prayer rather than by being in charge. He lead by his example, by his prayerfulness, by his faithfulness and consistency in loving our Order.

Rest in Peace Fr Luigi! May your soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace!


“Long Live Christ the King”-The Background and Story of the Spanish Civil War Martyrs

Sunday, October 13th nineteen Mercedarians will be declared blessed and martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Few here in the United States realize how horrific this event called “the Red Terror” truly was or the reasoning behind it. In this short article, we can see the background which lead to the persecution and witness accounts of the actual martyrs.

They were conformed  to Jesus' death
They were conformed to Jesus’ death

The roots of the persecution of the Church was a slow process which began with a great anticlerical movement in the 19th century. In 19th century Spain the Church was closely linked to the monarchy by means of concordats. Catholicism was, in practice, the state religion, like the Orthodox religion in Greece and Romania and Anglicanism in England. The Republicans had built up so much hatred for the monarchy and everything relating to it, the Church included, that, once they seized power, they began to hit their enemies. Their first and easiest target was the Church, being defenseless. The new regime made laws against the Church; in the meantime anarchists, socialists and Communists began to use violence against people and things.

As historians have ascertained, a growing number of measures against the Catholic Church and religious practice were taken between 1931 and 1936. These oppressive laws aimed at a radical and antidemocratic conception of the separation between Church and State. Violent persecution proper began in 1934 with the “Turon martyrs,” who have already been canonized, and many other believers murdered during the Communist Revolution of the Asturias, when priests, religious and seminarians, 37 in all, were killed and 58 churches were burned. After 1936 in all the main cities, cathedrals, religious communities and parish churches were attacked, ransacked and burned. These persecutions aimed at erasing all traces of Catholic tradition in Spain. Hatred for the faith or “in Odium Fidei” went even beyond murders and found expression in thousands of sacrilegious acts: tabernacles were emptied, consecrated particles were eaten, shot at, strewn in the streets and trodden on; churches were used as stables, altars were demolished, priests and nuns were held at gunpoint in the attempt to force them to recant their faith. Let us remember that persecutions started years before the beginning of the civil war, and the Church could be accused of supporting Franco’s Falangists, referred to as “rebels.”

It was within the context of this perilous situation that the Mercedarians of the Province of Aragon were called upon by God to exercise their 4th Vow: to be willing to offer their lives for those in danger of losing the faith. In this particular period all of Spain was in danger of losing their once cherished Catholic Faith. Lead by the former Master General of the Order Fr. Mariano Alcala Perez, 18 Mercedarian religious were martyred here we have a brief witness account for each of them:


Padre Mariano Acala:“He was in a serene frame of mind, thinking about heaven and showing his hope for heaven to his relatives whom he as consoling by telling that they were not losing anything by his death. I have also heard that at the precise moment of being shot to death, he shouted: “Long live Christ the King.”


Padre Tomas Carbonell Miquel: “I saw a man coming down from the Via Bajada de la Trinidad with his arms up and his Carbonell_Miquelhead down. I heard all those who were going by say: ‘he is a Mercedarian, he is a Mercedarian.’… A short time later, several shots rang out and everyone commented that they had killed the Mercedarian priest.”


Gargallo_GasconPadre Francisco Gargallo Gascon: “…the Servant of God had accepted to shed his blood out of love for Jesus: he knew that he was running the risk of losing his life…yet he was calm, serene and completely surrendered into God’s arms. His sole preoccupation was to save the young novices who were with him.”

Padre Francisco Gargallo Gason & Padre Emanuel Sancho Aguilar: “Having placed the two Fathers and the deponent before the firing squad and as we were continuing to sing the Te Deum, the militiamen ordered me to leave their midst and to move aside. However, I must not have heard them since the Father pushed me aside so that I would be out of the reach of the guns. I heard the Servants of God forgive their executioners.”

Sancho_AguilarPadre Emanuel Sancho Aguilar: “When he was speaking about martyrdom, he seemed to become excited and very enthusiastic, manifesting an intense desire to suffer it especially when speaking of the difficult times that we were approaching and he often said: ‘my sons, the greatest benefit that God could grant us would be that of dying as martyrs.’”


Pina_TuronPadre Mariano Pina Turon: the Reds addressed him, “‘Get up, you are going to die but before that, we are going to make you swallow the Rosary.’ Before all this that man showed great fortitude and presence of mind.”

“The militiamen who got out of it were dragging a man, they put him with his back to them in an empty field and at five or six yards from where I was. The two or three militiamen who were leading him fired and he fell down from the shot.”

Esteban_HernandezFriar Pedro Esteban Hernandez: “Brother Pedro, the younger of the two, could have looked for a safer refuge but he refused to abandon Brother Antonio who was quite old and very tired. I always found them resigned and in conformity with God’s will.”


Lahoz_GanFriar Antonio Lahoz Gan: “I have a devotion to him since I already considered him as a saint when he was alive. Whenever he heard the sound of the Angelus, without any concern for the place where he was or who was present, he would kneel and pray fervently even if the ground was full of rocks.”


Trallero_LouFriar Jose Trallero Lou: “The militiamen were abusing the above mentioned Brothers with words and threatening them with their guns so that they would reveal where the other Fathers and Brothers were. Although they knew that they were not very far, the two did not reveal anything. They did not respond to the insults.”

“According to what my father, who spent the night there, told me, they attempted to take away Bro. Trallero’s (Mercedarian) metals and they tried to make him blaspheme by promising him that they would save his life but he said: ‘I will not blaspheme. Long live Christ the King.’”

“I heard the militiamen who arrested him say in order to free them and save their lives, they only asked them to shout ‘Long live the revolution and Communism, ‘to which the martyrs responded ‘Long live the Christ the King!’ ‘Long live the Catholic faith!’”

Codina_CasellasFriar Jaime Codina Casella: “When the militiamen threatened them so that they might reveal the hiding place of the other religious, he withdrew into absolute silence in spite of the threats. According to I heard, they kept urging them to shout ‘long live Russia’ and other things to which they responded ‘Long live Christ the King.’”




Padre Jose Rene Prenafeta: During the revolution he stated, “Even if they were to point a gun at my chest, I would never deny that I am a priest.”




Padre Tomas Campo Marin: While in prisoned a witness said, “Fr. Campo Marin excelled by his resignation, his gentle treatment, his zeal, offering to hear our confessions, leading the Rosary out loud and other prayers”


Llagostera_BonetPadre Francisco Llagostera Bonet: “They were getting out of the truck, tied up two by two by their wrists and then in groups of fourteen, they put them in front of the wall and facing those who were to kill them. When the latter gave the order to ‘aim,’ the martyrs shouted ‘Long live Christ the King’”


Sanz_Iranzo Friar Serapio Sanz Iranzo: “I know that when they went to Lerida, where he was, to kill the Fathers, when he saw that they were leaving him behind, he said: ‘I too am a religious like them.’ Then the militiamen took him away with them and they assassinated him with the Fathers.”


Morante_ChicPadre Enrique Morante Chic: “ The attitude of the Servant of God before those who were carrying out the religious persecution was that of his appearing serene and so proud of being a Mercedarian priest that he immediately revealed it to his assassins although he was well aware of the consequences.”


Massanet_FlaquerPadre Jesus Massanet Flaquer: “…the three militiamen who were leading them, shot them in the back. I saw them fall to the ground as a result of the shots. After they had picked up the corpses, one could see traces of blood on the ground.”

The assassins themselves reported that the Servant of God “had shown a great deal of serenity and he shouted ‘Long live Christ the King.’”

Moreno_NicolasPadre Lorenzo Moreno Nicolas: “before he was shot, he blessed his executioners and told them that he forgave them according to what the driver, who drove him to his martyrdom, related to them.”

“His martyrdom must have been terrible…he invited him to sit on the edge of the well and he shot him. When he fell to the bottom, they continued to fire from above and after they had left, moans could still be heard, from which it was inferred that his death must have taken place after a long and painful agony if we bear in mind that the moans of the five Brothers of the Christian Schools and of the Pastor of Saint James, who were all thrown into the same well and in the same way as Father Lorenzo, were heard the day after the crime had ben perpetuated against them.”

Mitja_MitjaBrother Francisco Mitja Mitja: “On the following day, along with six or eight men who were also in hiding, we went back to the same place. Among all of us, we were able to identify the cadaver as that of a Mercedarian Brother of Saint Raymond since, on account of the clothing and of the objects that he had on and even the alms that he had been given in different houses, he was easily identifiable…we could clearly deduce that he had not thrown himself down from a rock that was nearby, but that instead he had been pushed.”


Special thanks to: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=7999&CFID=14171491&CFTOKEN=16464908

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_the_Spanish_Civil_War



Pope Francis Visits Ancient Mercedarian Shrine

Hidden on the shore of an Island west of Italy is one of the Church’s secret gems, the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria. This Basilica has been staffed by the Mercedarian Friars for over 675 years. This Holy Place has been visited by every Pope since Paul VI. On September 22nd, 6 months into his pontificate, Pope Francis arrived to pray to Our Lady of Bonaria. Fr Ken and Fr Tony were present and share their experience:

Dear Brothers and Friends,

Fr Tony with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in front of the Basilica
Fr Tony with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in front of the Basilica

Today was a most exciting day welcoming our Holy Father Pope Francis at our Lady of Bonaria shrine in Cagliari, Sardenga in which our Mercedarian Friars faithfully served for over 675 years. For us the day really began with the precious opportunity we had to bring out on our own shoulders in a short procession, the beautiful image of Our Lady of Bonaria from the Basilica to be placed near the altar where our Holy Father celebrated the Holy Eucharist with us all. What a meaningful moment it was for us to continue this wonderful witness and service to the people of Sardegna, along with this inspiring opportunity to concelebrate the Holy Eucharist with our Holy Father.

When our Holy Father first arrived, he spent a significant time first in the Basilica proper with many officials of the Diocese and of the City and also with a tender care and outreach to those having physical challenges in their lives. We were inspired by his words of encouragement to the youth suffering so much from the difficulties in finding employment and hope. Then there was, of course, the most magnificent celebration of the Holy Eucharist again with a message of encouragement to struggling youth. With the natural spontaneous openness of our Holy Father, a most precious moment was seeing him gleaming with joy as a child ran to embrace him in the procession after the Holy Mass returning to the Basilica.

1236641_640723469281920_1231032897_nIn the final minutes at our shrine, there was also the opportunity soon after the Holy Mass, for our Order and leading Parishioners to spend a particular moment of prayer with our Holy Father in the Santuario next to the Basilica that is the daily shrine of devotion to our Lady of Bonaria. As he came out to honor our Lady of Bonaria with a prayer and a bouquet of flowers, we all gleamed with joy as he came down to us to greet us with his enthusiasm, waving and sharing with us all a deep sense of communion in service to our Lord.

Our Holy Father spent the rest of the day receiving many again at the Cathedral in Cagiari and later, with a joyful and spirit filled vehicle procession through the streets filled with youth, he had a dedicated celebration of outreach and encouragement asking them to see their hope is in Jesus who never deludes us and always transforms our failures into moments of growth and new life. His final word to all, acknowledging the very sad news of loss of life of Christians whose church in Pakistan was attacked by suicide bombers just a couple hours before, he called all the youth to recognize their choice between the good and violence and called them to choose the way of peace and life. We all experienced a profound sense of peace and joy in our Holy Father Pope Francis’ devotional and pastoral visit to Cagliari on the
beautiful island of Sardegna.

The Holy Father incenses the miraculous statue
The Holy Father incenses the miraculous statue

In prayerful union with Our Redeemer Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Bonaria,

Fr. Kenneth Breen, O. de M.

For more on this historic trip visit: http://www.romereports.com/palio/pope-francis-in-cagliari-mass-mary-teaches-us-to-look-out-for-each-other-english-11084.html#.UkDgTT9x3IU



We Must Confront the Culture of Death, Pope Francis Said in a Little-Known Pro-Life Homily

In a little-known homily years ago, the man who was to become Pope Francis warned of the persecution of those promoting a respect for life, but nonetheless encouraged them to stand up for life.

Be courageous in promoting life, says Pope Francis. (Photo: The Guardian)

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you,” the Pope quoted the words of Christ.

Pope Francis’ homily, translated into English and set to exciting video footage of World Youth Day, was made into a video on YourTube by the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.

This message of Christ from the Gospel of John is “a little chilling,” in the words of a LifeSiteNews translation of the cardinal’s talk. The culture of death is something every Christian must confront, he said. Contrary to the Gospel, this culture sees life only for its usefulness and perceived value. It is dispensable when seen as “costly” or “useless” — whether that applies to the elderly or the unborn.

Smelling a wolf

In his off-hand manner, the cardinal said that when it comes to promoting life, it’s about “knowing how to smell” a wolf disguised as a sheep. “We don’t have the luxury to be fools because we have a very beautiful message of life and we’re not permitted to be fools.”

The culture of death preaches egoism and self-survival, but not the generous giving of life to others, says the pope. Christ counters this by saying, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). This is the mark of a Christian, he said – caring for the elderly, the disabled, the underprivileged child, even when it is costly and sacrifices are needed. Like Christ the Good Shepherd, not one sheep should be lost.

Wolves of persecution

Although we are made in the image and likeness of God – from whom we are given our worth – the world does not see this. Like sheep among wolves, we may be persecuted and shunned for our pro-life beliefs. Pope Francis reminds us of the Christian martyrs, who themselves were killed for preaching the Gospel of Life, but were given sufficient strength from Jesus.

In Genesis, Cain questioned whether he was his brother’s keeper. His sin continues in modern times, as society – where the seeds of the culture of death have taken root – shows increasing apathy towards others, the pontiff said.

In his homily, given on Aug. 31, 2005, on the feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus, Pope Francis spoke of the saint’s image, which was traveling between houses. St. Raymond, who is the patron of midwives and pregnant mothers, lived a life caring for others, even surrendering himself as a hostage to ransom captive Christians. He is also an early member of the Order of Mercy. The image of this saint must be a reminder to us to care for life from beginning to end, following Christ as did his disciples, the pope said.

Read the full text of the homily  on our website.

St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron of families, pray for us!

Fr. Eugene Costa, O. de M. has been the Order’s novice master for over 35 years. He imparts a little of his “pearls” of knowledge to us about St. Raymond Nonnatus.

SSt.-Raymond-statue-in-LeRoy-NYat., Aug. 31, 2013
Feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus

Just a little thought for today’s feast.

How wonderful that we bring the statue of Saint Raymond Nonnatus to our parish of Our Lady of Mercy. And I think it is so important for us to realize a few facts about him.

Saint Raymond Nonnatus is the patron for life, for expectant mothers, and for families.

He was one of the original companions of Saint Peter Nolasco in the early 1200s. He was chosen as a priest and as a ransomer for the Christian captives. Now it is important for us to realize that in the General Chapter, when they chose him, it was because of three factors: he could speak to Moslems, he was very holy, and he was heroic in that he would die for the faith. So, he was chosen.

And as we know, Saint Raymond did go on campaign for the Christian captives – to save them. And while he was there he suffered for the faith – for the truth. And the Pope, because of his great heroic sanctity, made him a cardinal.

Patron for families

Now it is important for us to know that Saint Raymond is not only the patron for life, and for expectant mothers, but also for families. How we need a patron for families! And we need this intercessor because we all must realize, we must know that in our families there are trials, difficulties, crosses and disappointments. Saint Raymond wants to be an advocate for us.

Fr Eugene

I would like to share with you something about this statue. Notice that he has the palm of martyrdom – Saint Raymond did not suffer death, but he suffered for the truth, and proclaiming that truth. There are three crowns on the top of that palm of martyrdom.

The first crown was that he was confessor to the truth. He proclaimed the truth, he lived the truth, he suffered for the truth and the papacy gave him the office of cardinal because of that. Saint Raymond’s statue is on the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The second crown is that he was truly a saint, very holy, for he loved the faith. He is shown always with the monstrance because of his true sanctity and his purity which he kept all his life.

St. Raymond Nonnatus redeemer of captives and miracle worker

St. Raymond Nonnatus is one of the most beloved saints for Christian families. He was born in the early 13th century. Raymond was nonnatus or “not born” since he was taken out of his dead mothers womb by his uncle. His miraculous life continued as he enter the Order of Mercy and became a heroic redeemer of Captives. Here is his story:


Patron of families

One of the most illustrious Saints of the Order of Mercy for the redemption of captives was St. Raymond Nonnatus.

His Superiors chose him to go to Africa, to pursue in the midst of the barbarians of that country the pious purposes for which the Order had been divinely instituted. This mission filled him with great joy.

On reaching Africa he took up his abode in Algeria a place to which the pirate ships conveyed the Christian prisoners whom they had captured on the high seas, and where they were exposed and sold as slaves in the market-places, or awaited the ransom demanded for their deliverance.

The number of these captives was so great at the time of the Saints arrival that he had not sufficient money to redeem them all. But as his charity for these unfortunate people embraced them all with out exception, he resolved to deliver them all from their terrible bondage. To accomplish this, having purchased as many as his limited resources permitted, and having agreed concerning the amount of ransom demanded for the rest, he procured their liberation, offering himself as a hostage till such time as the money required would be sent.

The Saint was then loaded with chains ; but he thanked God from his inmost heart for having given him this opportunity of suffering something for the love of Him Who had died on the Cross to redeem the whole world.

It would be impossible to describe the cruelty of these barbarians towards him, or the sufferings they caused him to endure during the time of his captivity. They were so great that the Cadi or Judge of the place, fearing that he would die under them, and that thus he would forfeit the money he hoped to receive, gave command by sound of trumpet to all concerned that the hostage was not to be further molested, and that if he should die on account of the treatment he received at their hands, he would hold them responsible for his death, and that they themselves would have to pay the ransom agreed upon for his deliverance.

120Raymond availed himself of this opportunity to perform heroic works of charity among the Christian captives who arrived day after day, and were subjected to the most unheard-of cruelty. He would visit them in their dungeons and console them, and encourage and confirm them in their faith. He extended his charity even to the infidels, instructing them when opportunity offered in the truths of the Catholic Religion. Many, even amongst the most obstinate, embraced Christianity, and among them two Moors of high rank, who received the Sacrament of Baptism at his hands.

These good works of St. Raymond could not long remain concealed. The Pasha, named Setim, was informed of them, and, being filled with anger, ordered him to be cruelly beaten with rods.

This sentence was carried out with excessive severity, but it was far from restraining the zeal of the holy apostle. He continued to instruct those who manifested any desire to learn the truths of the Christian Faith, and to console and strengthen in their torments those among the Christians whom he perceived to waver in their resolution, or whom the hardship of their condition placed in the danger of renouncing their Faith.

A padlock was placed on St Raymond's lips.

When the Pasha heard of this further despising of his commands, lie ordered him to be scourged in all the streets of the city ; then he pierced his lips with a hot iron rod, and joined them together with a padlock, the key of which was entrusted to the care of the Cadi, who only allowed it to leave his hands when it was necessary to give his prisoner food. He also ordered him to be thrown into one of the deepest dungeons and loaded with chains.

In this sad condition the holy man could not open his mouth to publish the praises of God, but it did not hinder him from opening his heart to speak to Him the language of love by prayers, desires, and holy thoughts. One day as his mind was occupied in pious contemplation, he fell into an ecstasy. His gaolers coming to give him some food, found him in this state prostrate on the ground, his head being supported by his right hand, while the fingers of the left were lying on a book open at his side, and were touching the following verse of Psalm cviii. :“O Lord my God, take not the word of truth from my mouth.” Seeing this, they were astonished, but this astonishment became greater when they heard him utter, with his lips still closed, another verse of the Psalmist : “Thy word, O God, endureth forever.”

The Moors attributed this to enchantment, and to make him cease speaking they beat him with rods and struck him with their feet, then left him with his lips still fastened, without giving him anything to eat.

St. Raymond lived for eight months in the midst of this cruel treatment, which he bore with unparalleled constancy. At the end of that time the religious of his Order arrived with the money that had been fixed upon for his release. The Cadi, who was a man of great avarice, was not satisfied with the amount they had brought, and desired still to retain him. The man of God himself, inflamed with charity for his neighbour, would willingly have remained to console his dear captives in their afflictions, but his brethren succeeded in obtaining his

release, and he returned with them.

St Raymond’s Feast is August 31st. He is the Patron of expected mothers, pre-born babies Christian families and those falsely accused.

The catechism in examples (1908)

A saint that helps the infertile.
Author: Chisholm, D
Volume: 5
Subject: Vol. 5
Publisher: London : Burns Oates & Washbourne ltd
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language: English
Call number: AKD-5986
Digitizing sponsor: MSN
Book contributor: Regis – University of Toronto
Collection: regislibrarytoronto

Problems with infertility go to St Raymond Nonnatus!!