Sell what you possess and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ~GOSPEL Luke. 12. 32-34
SAINT PETER NOLASCO
Traditional Calendar January 28
Peter Nolasco was born of a noble family at Recaudun, near Carcassonne, in France, and lost his parents while still young. In consequence of his horror of the Albigensian heresy, he sold his estates and withdrew into Spain. Here, as he was praying one night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in a vision, and gave him to understand that it would be most pleasing to her Son and herself, if he would found an order of religious men, whose chief duty it should be to effect the redemption of Christian bondsmen out of the hand of the infidels. And so, together with St. Raymund Pennaforte and King James I of Aragon, who had been told the same thing by the Mother of God on the very same night, he founded the Order of the Blessed Mary of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives. The members add a fourth vow that they will be ready to remain as hostages in the hand of the infidels if this were needed to free Christians. He was refreshed by frequent apparitions of his Guardian Angel, and of the Virgin Mother of God ; and when he had attained a good old age, he died a holy death at midnight between the 23rd and 24th of December, in the year 1256. ~Roman Breviary
Practice of Merciful Charity – The passion for freedom creates in Mercedarians the mystique of the liberation of those brothers and sisters who are in the power of the enemies of the faith. The first Mercedarian Constitutions insist repeatedly on affirming that the mission or goal of the Institute is to visit and to free Christians who are in the power of the Saracens or other enemies of the faith. In order to liberate Christian captives, this mystique encourages the use of every licit recourse, including the one inspired by the greatest charity: Giving one’s own freedom and life!