I just was reading a bit on the Catholic Culture
website about a feast for 24 Sept on the old calendar for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. It was the feast of Our Lady of Ransom
. Here is a part of that article:
"The Church decided to organize the work of ransoming slaves. In 1198 St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois founded the Trinitarians. From then until 1787 they redeemed 900,000 captives. The Order of Our Lady of Ransom, called the Mercedarians, and founded by St. Peter Nolasco, ransomed 490,736 slaves between the years 1218 and 1632. St. Vincent de Paul, a slave himself, led his priests to save 1200 Christian captives in the short period between 1642 and 1660 at the staggering cost of 1,200,000 pounds of silver. An even greater achievement was the conversion of thousands in captivity, and steeling them against the sufferings of a cruel martyrdom for the faith."
"Our Blessed Mother herself appeared in a vision to St. Peter Nolasco, and requested him to found a religious order devoted to the rescue of captives. This was in 1218. Previous to that, since 1192, certain noblemen of Barcelona, Spain, had organized to care for the sick in hospitals and to rescue Christians from the Moors. St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymond of Pennafort, and King James formed the new Order of Our Lady of Mercy. The group included religious priests who prayed and gathered the means, while the lay monks or knights went into the very camps of the Moors to buy back Christians, and, if necessary, take their very places. We have mentioned the magnitude of their success, a success that was won through the heavenly assistance of the Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Ransom."
As I read the article I couldn't help but think that something like this is going on today. I thought of all the unborn who are in danger of being killed by abortion. Clinics like those operated by PossiblyPregnant.org
, Care Net
, Birthright International
& DBQ's Clarity Clinic
are doing the work of ransoming many of them from death. I have a modest proposal I offer to the Vatican for making Our Lady of Ransom their patron saint. Papa Benedetto, how does that sound to you?