Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy

My Life for Your Freedom

MERCEDARIAN LIBRARY VI

 

THE ORDER OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY OF MERCY (1218-1992)

 

A Historical Synthesis

 

Historical Institute of the Mercedarian Order Rome 1997

 

Table of Contents:

 

Presentation

 

Introduction

 

HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS OF THE ORDER OF MERCY

 

1. Captivity in the Thirteenth Century

  Captivity as a Social Problem

  Captivity as a Political Problem

  Captivity as a Religious Problem

  Attitude of the Church vis-à-vis Captivity

  Attitude of Civil Society vis-à-vis Captivity

  Captives’ Paths to Freedom

 

2. Saint Peter Nolasco, Founder

   Peter Nolasco’s Place and Date of Birth

   Peter’s Profile and Work before the Foundation of the Order

 

I. IN ITS FIRST CENTURY

(1218-1317) A Lay Organization1. Foundation of the Order

 

2. Nature of the Order

 

3. Organization of the Order

   The Master

   The Master’s Lieutenants and Commanders

   Lay Brothers and Clerical Brothers

   The Donates

   The Sisters

   The General Chapter

 

4. Redemptive Activity

   Collection of Alms for Redemption

   Redemption Fund

   Statistics about Redemptions

   A Few Redemptions of that Period

   Other Works of Mercy

 

5. Pontifical Confirmation of the Order

 

6. First Foundations of Houses

 

7. Saint Peter Nolasco’s Death

 

8. Saint Peter Nolasco’s First Successors

   Brother Guillermo de Bas (1245-1260)

   Brother Bernardo de San Román (1260-1267)

   Brother Guillermo de Bas II (1267-1270)

   Brother Pedro de Amer (1270-1301)

 

9. Brother Pedro de Amer’s Constitutions (1272)

   Contents of the Amerian Constitutions

 

10. Mercedarian Spirituality

    Imitating and Following Jesus Christ the Redeemer

    Love and Devotion to the Virgin Mary

    Service to the Catholic Faith

    Practice of Merciful Charity

 

11. Fruits of Sanctity

   Martyrs

   Saint Raymond Nonnatus

   Saint Serapion

   Saint Peter Paschasius

   Saint Peter Armengol

   Saint Mary Cervellon or the Helper

 

12. Mary in the Order of Mercy

   Origin of the Name of the Order of Mercy

   Mary’s Name in the Title of the Order

   Images of Mary, Mercedarian Churches and Sanctuaries

   Mercedarian Marianism

 

II. UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE EVANGELIZATION OF AMERICA

(1317-1492) A Clerical Organization

1. The 1317 General Chapter

   Precedents

   Chapter Celebration

 

2. Father Raimundo Albert’s Constitutions (1327)

   Clerical Masters General

   Contents of Albert’s Constitutions

 

3. The Redemption of Captives

   Evolution and Characteristics

   Intervention of Popes and Monarchs in Redemption

   Redemptions during This Period

 

4. Expansion of the Order

   Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

   Spain

   France

 

5. Regulations and Government of the Order

   Masters General of this Period

   General Chapters

 

6. Cultural and Apostolic Development of the Order

   Premises

   Consequences in the Area of Culture

   Pastoral Activity

 

7. Fruits of Sanctity

   Juan Gilabert Jofré and His Social Work

   Other Exemplary Religious

 

8. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy

   Expansion of Marian Devotion in the Order

   Mercedarian Marianism

 

III. UNTIL THE TRIDENTINE REFORM

(1491-1574) Inception of Evangelization

 

1. The First Mercedarians in the Americas

 

2. Establishment in America

   Preliminary General Situation

   Santo Domingo, the First Convent of the Americas (1514)

   Panama

   Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica

   Mexico

   Venezuela

   Colombia

   Ecuador

   Peru

   Argentina

   Chile

3. Apostolic Work in America

   Initial Activity

   Defending the Natives

 

4. Consolidation of the Order in America

   Religious life

   Vocations, Formation and Studies

   Process of Autonomy of the American Provinces

 

5. The Life of the Order in Europe

   The Masters General

   New Foundations and Residence of the Procurator in Rome

   A Difficult Situation in France

   Attempted Reforms

   The Redemption of Captives

   Cultural Activity

6. Fruits of Sanctity

 

7. Mercedarian Laity and Mercedarian Nuns

 

8. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy and Mercedarian Marianism

 

IV. DURING ITS GREATEST FLOURISHING

(1574-1770) Charismatic and Cultural Growth

 

1. Guadalajara General Chapter (1574)

   Situation of the Order at the End of the Sixteenth Century

   Tridentine Decrees Applied to Structures

   Application to the Common State of the Order

   Government of the Order and Masters General of this Period

 

2. The Redemption of Captives

   Acts Related to Redemption

   Ways of Collecting Alms and of Carrying Out Redemptions

   Contribution of the American Provinces

   Some Important Redemptions

   Other Works of Mercy

 

3. Creation of New Provinces and Vice-Provinces

    In Europe

    In America

    The Vicars General for America

 

4. Religious Formation

   Characteristics of the Formation Plans

   Mercedarian Colleges

 

5. Cultural and University Work

   Sacred Sciences

   Literature and Other Disciplines

 

6. Apostolic Activity

   Evangelization of America and the Doctrinas

   Popular Missions and Mission Colleges

 

7. New Legislation and Configuration of the Order

   Father José Linás’ Constitutions (1692)

   The Order of Mercy, a Mendicant Order

   Situation of the Order at the End of the Eighteenth Century

 

8. Fruits of Sanctity9. The Mercedarian Family

   Discalced Mercedarians

   Mercedarian Nuns

   Mercedarian Laity

 

10. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy and to the Saints of the Order

     The Feast of Mercy in the Church’s Calendar

     Liturgy and Saints of the Order

     Renowned Sanctuaries and Images

     Mercedarian Marianism

 

V. BETWEEN SUPPRESSIONS AND HOPES

(1770-1880) Crisis and Survival

1. New Currents of Thought

 

2. Situation and Suppression of the Order of Mercy in France

        The Commission of Regulars and the Mercedarians

        Negotiations to Resolve the Situation

        Suppression of Houses

        Definitive Disappearance of the Mercedarians in France

 

3. Situation and Suppression in Spain

    The Carlist Reform

    Napoleonic Suppression and Constitutionalist Reform

    Liberal Suppression

    Situation of the Exclaustrated

 

4. Situation and Suppression in Italy

   Situation of the Mercedarians in Italy

   Suppression Resulting from the Napoleonic Wars

   General Exclaustration

 

5. Situation of the Order of Mercy in America

   Situation of the American Provinces

  The Mercedarians and Pro-Independence Movements

  Effects of the New Political Régime

  Reform of the Provinces of America

 

6. Government of the Order

   The Masters General until 1834

   The Vicars General from 1834 to 1880

   Election of Master General Peter Armengol Valenzuela

 

7. Apostolic Activity

   The Redemption of Captives

   Social Works

   Teaching

 

8. Fruits of Sanctity9. The Mercedarian Family

   Missionary Mercedarians of Barcelona

   Mercedarian Sisters of Charity

   Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy

   Sisters of Mercy

   Mercedarian Laity10. Mercedarian Marianism and Cult to the Virgin of Mercy

 

VI. FROM THE RESTORATION IN EUROPE TO THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

(1880-1965) New Horizons

 

1. Restoration of the Order in Europe

  First Steps of the Restoration in Spain

  Generalate of Father Peter Armengol Valenzuela

  Saint Adriano Convent and its Novitiate

  Continuation of the Restoration in Spain

 

2. Creation of Provinces and Vice-Provinces

    Bolivia Congregation

   Vice-Province of Concepción, Chile

   Concern for Restoration in Mexico

   Sicily Vice-Province and Sardinia Commissariat

   Roman Province

   The Province of Peru

   Father Valenzuela Is Reelected

 

3. Father Valenzuela’s Constitutions (1895)

   General Congregation of 1893

   Contents of the Constitutions

   Complementary Books

 

4. Government of the Order

    Father Valenzuela’s Last Years

    Masters General of this Period

    Reform of the Constitutions

 

5. Apostolic Activities of the Order

    Redemptive Mission

    Teaching Ministry

    Missions

     Prison Ministry

 

6. Religious Formation and Cultural Development

   Religious Formation

   Cultural Development

   Historical Studies

 

7. Expansion of the Order and New Trials

   New Foundations and Situation of the Order

   Religious Persecution in Mexico

   The Spanish Civil War

 

8. Fruits of Sanctity

 

9. The Mercedarian Family

   Mercedarian Tertiaries of the Child Jesus

   Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

   Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz

   Mercedarian Missionaries Sisters of Brazil

   Federation of Sisters of the Order of Mercy

   Mercedarian Slaves of the Blessed Sacrament

   Mercedarians of the Divine Master

   Mercedarian Laity

   Confraternities

   Knights of Our Lady of Mercy

 

10. Cult to the Virgin of Mercy

   Spiritual Graces

   Crowned Images of Our Lady of Mercy

   Mercedarian Basilicas

 

VII. FROM THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL TO THE PRESENT

   (1966-1992) Renewal of the Charism1. Religious Life in the Council and its Repercussion in the Order

   2. Special General Chapter of 1968-1969

   Celebration of the Chapter

   Constitutions and Norms ad experimentum of Father Bernardo Navarro (1970)

 

3. Deepening of the Charism and Spirituality of the Order

   Appreciation of the Figure of the Founder

   Elements of the Charism and Spirituality of the Order

   Manual of Mercedarian Spirituality

 

4. The Updated Constitutions of Father Domingo Acquaro (1986)

   Experimentation Period

   Extraordinary General Chapter

   Contents of the Constitutions

 

5. Liturgical Renewal

   Rite of Religious Profession

   Mercedarian Liturgical Calendar

   Mercedarian Masses

   Liturgy of the Hours

   Ritual of the Order

 

6. Different Forms of Government

   New Style of Chapters

   The Council of Provincials

   Provincial Statutes

   Provincial Vicariates

   Interprovincial Meetings at Various Levels

 

7. Formation and Studies

   General Plan of Vocations, Formation and Studies

   Historical Institute

 

8. Initiatives of a Charismatic Nature

 

9. The Order’s Response to the Church’s Missionary Call

 

10. The Mercedarian Family

     Religious of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy

     Secular Association of Our Lady of Mercy

     Attention to Other Members of the Mercedarian Family

     Mercedarian Laity11. Mary of Mercy or of Liberation

 

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

 

 

Historical Survey