Mercedarian Third Order
Mercedarian Third Order Principles
The following is a summation from the “Mercedarian Third Order Statutes”. The third Order is an association of faithful Catholics. The primary vocation of each member is the universal call to holiness which is manifested in their state in life: either diocesan priesthood, married, or single. Those who have joined the third order have a secondary call to live out a certain spirituality which gives meaning, direction, and purpose to their life.
Many members of the Third Order are living in the lay state. Their apostolic purpose is to evangelize and sanctify and to infuse a Christian spirit into the temporal order. Though works of mercy and charity they bear witness to Christ. Their called to serve “the Mission of the Church”, which is to “make disciples of all nations”. The laity are indispensable to the New Evangelization called for by each of our last three popes. This is a contemporary effort ensure that the saving message of the Gospel may be known in all its richness by all people through the earth.
From the very beginning, the Order of the BVM of Mercy has incorporated devote lay people wishing to participate in its redeeming work. These individuals share in the spirituality of the Order and collaborate in the work of redeeming captives in danger of losing the faith. In their daily lives, the members have the same intense love for the Virgin Mary under the title of Mercy, cultivate the same spirit, promotes fraternal bonds and form the “Mercedarian Family”. Inspired by the spiritual values of St. Peter Nolasco, they work to free the captives present in their communities through the exercise of the Corporal Works of Mercy. As a result of their promises they share in the spiritual treasury of an 800 year old family whose members include untold martyrs, holy virgins, and many devote souls reigning with Christ in heaven!
Spirit and Mission of the Order:
The following is essential to manifest the Mercedarian Charism:
1) Imitation of Christ the Redeemer
2) To model ourselves after Mary
3) To be imbued with the spirit of St. Peter Nolasco
4) To discover those who continue to suffer as captives
5) To grow in holiness and pray daily for the captives
6) To pray for vocations to the Mercedarian friars and sisters
7) To carry out the Mercedarian mission of redemption today
8) To practice Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
9) To share in the graces and benefits of the spiritual treasury of the Order
10) To know and cherish the Mercedarian Saints and their lives of holiness.