She is the virgin of forgiveness, warrior and wise, glorious carries the banner of Liberty. She is the Virgen de las Mercedes, named as the Patroness of the inmates and of all those people who are going through similar circumstances of loss of freedom.
It is the Virgen de las Mercedes, one of the most recognized invocations of the Virgin Mary, especially in Spanish-speaking countries. In Cuba, a product of syncretism, in the Yoruba culture and religion, his figure is syncretized with the Father Orisha Obbatalá, Father of the World and owner of purity.
The apparitions and legends of La Merced
They say that the Virgen de las Mercedes made appearances before three men on different occasions, and they joined in devotion to her image to found their religious order.
The first was San Pedro Nolasco, official founder of the order, then King Jaime I of Aragon and finally San Raimundo de Peñafort, a Dominican friar.
The three met in the Cathedral of Barcelona and in the year 1218 they founded the order of Mercedes. In the first Constitutions of the Order, in 1272, it received the title of “Order of the Virgin of Mercy of the Redemption of the Christian captives of Santa Eulalia de Barcelona”.
It is said that the arrival of the cult of the Virgen de las Mercedes in America was thanks to Francisco Pizarro, who left for Peru accompaniedañaby religious of the Order of La Merced, who inspired the cult of Mary, Mother of God, under the invocation of "María de Las Mercedes".
One of the Latin American legends tells that, during a robbery, several pirates tried to steal the Sacred Image of Las Mercedes from its sanctuary in Peru, but the sea was agitated, causing the invaders to flee, who, full of anger, marked the image and the threw into the sea.
But several Peruvian fishermen found the image of the Virgin stranded on a nearby beach, which they considered a divine miracle.
Since then the cult of the Virgen de las Mercedes spread throughout Peru and throughout Latin America.
Our Lady of Mercedes, Patroness of the inmates
The Virgen de las Mercedes symbolizes innocence and purity and in addition to being the patron saint of inmates, she is also the protector of places and institutions in many parts of the world.
Although his cult comes from Spainaña, is one of the most revered protectors of Latin American countries and is well known as the Merciful Virgin.
Our Lady of Mercedes, patroness of inmates and lost causes, is recognized by many as the grantor of miracles. She is also the protector of prisoners, mistress of purity and mercy.
Obatalá and Las Mercedes Day
On September 24, the Virgen de las Mercedes and Father Orisha Obbatalá are celebrated in Cuba, and both are asked for their blessing, their protection and mercy, especially for those who have been denied freedom.
On the island, the deities are representatives of peace and freedom and therefore many people wear white, the color of purity and go to the temples to pray in the same cult, for the protection of their loved ones.
That day the Virgin is implored protection and, above all, freedom, both in churches and in homes, prostrate on their knees before the altars dedicated to the saints. Above all, the relatives of prisoners, dressed in white, pray for their freedom.
The cult of the Virgin in Cuba is carried out mainly in the Iglesia de la Merced, one of the main religious temples in Havana and one of the most important in the country.
The faithful go there every September 24 to pray for their relatives, to ask the saint's forgiveness and her blessing.
The Virgin of Las Mercedes and Father Orisha Obbatalá
The Virgin of the Mercedes syncretizes as part of the usual transculturation process in Cuban religiosity that represents the union of Catholicism and the Yoruba religion, with the greater Orisha, Obatalá.
The Father Orisha creator of the world is considered the strongest of the orishas, sculptor of the human being and ruler over the head and represents the thoughts.
Like the Virgin, Obbatalá represents purity, intelligence and respect and therefore both are united in the same cult that devotees practice, entertaining the deities and asking for their mercy and intercession in the face of human sins and errors.
Prayers and prayers to the Virgin, protection, faith and freedom
When we pray to the Virgen de las Mercedes, we are asking the intercession of Christ for the liberation of our souls, for freedom, prosperity and health.
We also implore the saint and Father Orisha Obbatalá for the care of our relatives and loved ones. Through prayers, we ask the deities for their support so that they give us the strength to go through problematic situations and help us to move forward, always with our own effort and with great faith.
And to pray to the Virgen de las Mercedes, we must know that the act of praying deserves a time of consecration and respect and that we must place in this action, all the faith of our hearts, asking her to listen to us and offer us her comfort.
If we light a white candle and put flowers of the same color, in front of the altar or an image of the Virgin, we will be expressing our gratitude for taking care of us and our loved ones.
And one of the issues for which the Merciful Virgin is most prayed for is protection, ours and that of our loved ones, since she can intercede for and help us on the complex path of life.
Prayer to the Virgen de las Mercedes for protection
- Let's see a prayer to the Virgin to ask her to intercede for our protection
Lady of the Mercedes, mother of Jesus,
You are venerated by all your children,
you who make the impossible possible,
wash the sin from my soul to be worthy to serve you as your faithful devotee,
do not abandon me and please listen to my requests.
Most Holy and Glorious Virgin Mary of Las Mercedes, Lady of the Forsaken,
Always protector of the afflicted and the captives,
my soul rejoices in your power so that you can give me the protection I need so much
That is why today I pray to you with devotion to be able to find your mercy.
I ask, adored Mother, that my prayers rise to heaven
and that through the song of the angels you and our Savior can hear them
You who with your blessing are always willing to protect those of us who feel most helpless,
Grant me forgiveness for all the sins for which I now regret.
I humbly beg you to give me the spiritual strength I need so that with your support and protection
I can get away from any dangerous situation or from those people who, with bad intentions,
They seek to get me away from the Lord's way so that I cannot keep my word.
I implore you, my Virgin, to remove all obstacles that come my way from my path
and that you always accompany me, even more so in the most difficult situations.
Receive me, oh my Virgin, under your protection and protection, take care of me and mine as you have always done with all your children
shelter us under your sacred mantle to be safe from evil and enemies.
I assure you that my heart will surrender to you in complete devotion.
Virgen de las Mercedes, grant me the benefit of always praising you
and the possibility of asking for your intercession.
I long for you to be forever blessed and sacred,
that you be the guardian of my prayers and do not neglect my requests.
To the Virgencita de las Mercedes we dedicate this Prayer for special requests
As Merciful Virgin and author of miracles, we also pray many times to Our Lady of Mercedes when we find ourselves in difficult and desperate situations, hoping that she will cover us and protect us under her mantle.
- Let's see the prayer to the Virgen de las Mercedes for difficult requests
Most Holy Virgin of Mercy,
Mother of all Grace and mercy,
protector of the afflicted and of the captives,
receive this, your faithful devotee, under your protection and spread your mantle of love over me,
do not stop being my powerful mediator in Heaven so that I never lack Divine help.
My dear Merciful Virgin,
with love I tell you that I am your faithful devotee
I trust your help and compassion,
therefore thrown to your divine plants I implore your effective assistance,
defend me, guide me, guard me and take care of me.
The Virgen de las Mercedes is also the patron saint of inmates and for this reason she is praised a lot for the freedom of those who have been deprived of liberty.
Prayer to the Virgin of Mercy for the prisoners and injustices
- Let's learn about the Prayer to the Virgin of Las Mercedes for the inmates and their liberation.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint of Mercedes
mother of Jesus Christ, queen of the world and Lady of all creation,
that you abandon or leave anyone in pain, let us see the reign of Christ, your Divine Son, who is that of love, truth and justice.
Immaculate Virgin Mother of Mercedes, you who can do everything, protector of the prisoners, of all those lost causes.
Most Holy Mother of Jesus, King of Kings, loving and pious mother of us all, divine light that lights up the sea and the skies, I beg you to hear my prayers.
You who with your divine blessing protect the lives of the helpless, you have always given us the necessary support for those of us who repent of our faults.
Through your word, I ask with humility and repentance in my sweet heart, Mary, I ask you for strength and that you save your children who need you the most.
That through your divine concurrence you work for the prompt liberation of (name of the person) so that he can freely undertake the paths of the sacred words that you teach us,
I ask you to remove his unease and anguish immediately, make your divine presence accompany him in these difficult times he is going through.
Place it under your mantle so that with your love they can forget suffering and sadness.
Divine Holy Virgin, I ask you to be the protector of my desires and fulfill the requests that I make of you with fear and devotion.
I name you Most Holy Virgin Patron of Mercy.