UNITED STATES — Today the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (or Ransom) celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mercy. The title “Mercy” for our Lady had its origin from the Order of Mercy which was so called for its ministry—the redemption of slaves. During the Middle Ages this ministry was known as the work of mercy. The Order has always attributed to Mary a special participation in its foundation. For this reason the Order has always honored her with particular devotion since its beginning and in accordance with its Founder, Saint Peter Nolasco, who in 1249, dedicated a church to her. In 1600, permission was granted to celebrate on the feast of the Nativity of Mary a special liturgy dedicated to Mary under the title of “Mercy.” In 1696, the feast was extended to the whole Church.

A happy and holy feast day to all!