Our Lady of Ransom

With the famous shrines dedicated to Our Lady of Ransom in Vallarpadam, Cochin and Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, it is a significant feast for India.

Our Lady of Ransom

The Feast of Our Lady of Ransom is a Roman Catholic liturgical Marian feast.

With the famous shrines dedicated to Our Lady of Ransom in Vallarpadam, Cochin and Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, it is a significant feast for India. Between the eighth and the fifteenth centuries, medieval Europe was in a state of intermit­tent warfare between the Christian kingdoms of southern Europe and the Muslim states of North Africa, Southern France, Sicily and portions of Spain. Capture, whether by pirates or raiders, was a continuous threat to residents of coastal areas on both sides of the conflict.

Tradition holds that in August 1218, Peter Nolasco experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary, who asked him to found a religious order dedicated to rescuing the many Christian captives. This inspired Nolasco to establish a religious order and its charism of the redemption of Christian captives was similar to that of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity established some twenty years earlier in France.

On 10 August 1223, the Mercedarian Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon and was approved by Pope Gregory IX on 17 January 1235. A feast day was instituted and observed on 24 September locally but on 22 February 1696 Innocent XII extended it to the entire Church.

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