Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes con San Pedro de Nolasco y San Raimundo de Penafort

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    • Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes con San Pedro de Nolasco y San Raimundo de Penafort.
    • Our Lady of the Mercedes, Patroness of the Prisoners, with Saint Peter of Nolasco and Saint Raimund of Penafort.
    • Late 19th Century Original Retablo Oil Painting on Tin created in Mexico.
    • Retablo dimensions are approx. 10 inches horizontal x 14 inches vertical. 
    • Condition: in good, clean, original condition with some minor paint loss acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer.
    • In the year 1218, Our Lady Virgin Mary appeared to San Pedro Nolasco recommending that he found a religious community that would help those who were taken captive to distant places.
    • San Pedro Nolasco, supported by King James the Conqueror and advised by San Raimundo de Peñafort, founded the religious Order of Our Lady of Mercy or Mercedes. The word Merced means: mercy, help, charity.
    • From the year 1259 the Mercedarian Fathers began to spread devotion to Our Lady of Mercy (or Mercedes), which is now widespread throughout the world.
    • San Raimundo de Peñafort is at the origin of the Order of Our Lady of the Mercedes. Its founder, St. Peter Nolasco, made contact Catalan Saint in Barcelona and immediately placed himself under his spiritual direction.
    • The miracle of St. Peter's chains, recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, was the inspiration for founding a religious order for the purpose of rescuing those unfortunate captives: "Peter of Nolasco was captured and taken prisoner by the Saracens. As he slept between two soldiers, tied with chains, a Angel of the Lord appeared and the dark, dank dungeon filled with light. Striking Peter in his side, the Angel woke him saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell from his hands ... They left the prison and came to the iron gate that faces the city, which opened to them by itself "(Acts 12: 6-10). 
    • In 1218, the Virgin is said to have appeared to Saint Peter Nolasco and said that it was God's Pleasure to found a congregation with the title of Our Lady of the Mercedes, for the rescue of the captive Christians in foreign lands. Immediately he went to communicate the fact to Saint Raymond, who declared that he had also received the same Visitation from the Mother of God.
    • Shortly afterwards, they both requested an audience with King James the Conqueror about the means for the foundation of the congregation, and King James informed them that the Blessed Virgin had also appeared to him as well, with an identical communication.
    • Thus, thanks to the combination of supernatural factors and supported by the prestige of Saint Raimundo, the Order of Our Lady of the Mercedes developed quickly, attracting to its ranks numerous noblemen of France, Germany, England and Hungary.
    • Today, friars of the Order of Mercy continue to rescue others from modern types of captivity, such as social, political, and psychological forms. They work in jails, marginal neighborhoods, among addicts, and in hospitals. In the United States, the Order of Mercy gives special emphasis to educational and parish work.
    • Note from Brian: I have seen many images in Mexican retablo Art of Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, but never in the company of San Pedro de Nolasco y San Raimundo de Penafort, the Patron Founders of Her Order. This is a very rare retablo. To this day, I have never found an explanation of why the two Saints are wearing iron collars with bells above their heads, and I would welcome any knowledge or insight to understanding this unusual iconography.


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