(Double major, commemorates the foundation of the Mercedarians.)
On 10 August, 1223, the Mercedarian Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon and was approved by Gregory IX on 17 January, 1235. The Mercedarians celebrated their institution on the Sunday nearest to 1 Aug. (on which date in the year 1233 the Blessed Virgin was believed to have shown St. Peter Nolasco the white habit of the order), and this custom was approved by the Congregation of Rites on 4 April, 1615 (Anal. Juris Pont., VII, 136). But the calendar of the Spanish Mercedarians of 1644 has it on 1 Aug., double. Proper lessons were approved on 30 April, 1616. The feast was granted to Spain (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) on 15 Feb., 1680; to France, 4 Dec., 1690. On 22 Feb., 1696, it was extended to the entire Latin Church, and the date changed to 24 September. The Mercedarians keep this feast as a double of the first class, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: "Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V.de Mercede". Our Lady of Ransom is the principal patron of Barcelona; the proper Office was extended to Barcelona (1868) and to all Spain (second class, 1883). Sicily, which had suffered so much from the Saracens, took up the old date of the feast (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) by permission of the Congregation of Rites, 31 Aug., 1805 (double major), Apparition of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco in the choir of Barcelona, on the Sunday after 24 Sept. In England the devotion to Our Lady of Ransom was revived in modern times to obtain the rescue of England as Our Lady's Dowry.
Information of Interest: Read here about the Scapular of Our Lady of Ransom
O God, who by means of the most glorious Mother of Thy Son was pleased to give new children to Thy Church for the deliverance of Christ's faithful from the power of the heathen; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who love and honor her as the foundress of so great a work may, by her merits and intercession, be ourselves delivered from all sin and from the bondage of the evil one. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The black and white picture, above, can be right clicked to save and printed in a larger format for a coloring page. The stories of Mercedarians, St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Pentafort dovetail with this feast. We'll be talking about the threat to the Christian world that is still alive today, as well as the different kinds of captivity -- physical and spiritual.