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10 elements you should know about the Virgen de las Mercedes

Virgin of the Mercedes in Cuba

The Virgin guardian, the protector of the prisoners, lady of purity and mercy, that is the Virgin of the Mercedes.

Next, we show 10 aspects that as a good devotee you should know:

Our Lady of Mercy, the Queen of Peace:

1. Patron of the prisoners

It is considered to Virgin of Las Mercedes as the patroness of prisoners, lady of forgiveness and peace. With her eternal mercy she comes to the aid of the prisoners and responds to their prayers, comforting them and offering them her protective mother's mantle.

2. Syncretism with Obatala

La Virgin of the Mercedes syncretized as part of the process of transculturation of Catholicism and the Yoruba religion, with the greater Orisha, Obatala. He is considered the strongest of the orishas, ​​creator of the earth and sculptor of the human being. It rules over the head and represents the thoughts.

The deities are considered in a single cult as protectors and merciful in the face of human sins and errors. They grant them grace and divine protection.

3. Legend of the Virgin of the Mercedes

In 1218, when the Iberian Peninsula was dominated by Muslims, on the feast of the holy founder Pedro Nolasco, he had a visit from the Blessed Virgin, who introduced herself as La Merced, and exhorted him to found a religious Order to redeem those captive Christians.

Thus the Celeste, Royal and Military Order of Mercy was created in the Cathedral of Barcelona with the support of King Jaime I the Conqueror and the council of San Raimundo de Peñafort.

In the first Constitutions of the Order, in 1272, it received the title of "Order of the Virgen de la Merced of the Redemption of the captive Christians of Santa Eulalia of Barcelona.

4. Worship in Latin America

When Francisco Pizarro arrived in Peru, he did so 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".

5. History of the Virgen de las Mercedes in Peru

In colonial times, on September 24 at night, an English fleet made its way into a Peruvian port and decided to attack and sow terror in nearby cities.

It is said that the Chief of the English Squad tried to steal the Sacred Image of Las Mercedes, but he could not, because the sea was agitated making the invaders flee. But before leaving, the Chief, full of anger, gave a violent thrust at the figure of the Virgin, marking her on the neck, and threw her into the sea.

But the Sacred Effigy was found stranded on a nearby beach, by a group of fishermen, who warned the population, and venerated the Virgin as a miracle from Heaven.

6. The Star of Faith and Evangelization

His Holiness Pope John Paul II on his first visit to Peru in 1985, called the Virgin of the Mercedes»The Star of Faith and Evangelization”

7. On September 24, the day of the Mercedes

Many countries in Latin America celebrate every September 24 at the Virgin of the Mercedes, asking for your blessing and mercy, and your support for those who have been denied freedom.

Many are the countries that, like Cuba, consider the Virgin, patron saint and protector of the community and entertain her on her day with marches, offerings and prayers.

8. Veneration in Cuba

Every September 24, it is customary among Cubans to celebrate the day of the Virgin of the Mercedes, and the Orisha Obatalá. Cubans pray to deities for peace and prosperity.

That day they implore the Virgin for protection and, above all, freedom. The celebration becomes an act of faith and solidarity, attended by relatives of prisoners, dressed in white, and praying for their freedom in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy located on Cuba and Merced streets, in Old Havana. .

9. Church of Our Lady of Mercy 

The Iglesia de la Merced is one of the main religious temples in Havana. Its construction dates back to 1630 and has three huge naves separated from each other by semicircular arches.

It has a main altar of La Iglesia de la Merced to which the faithful of the Virgin They must access through the stairs to pray to the Virgin asking for her blessing. His devotees come there every September 24 and throughout the year to ask for peace, and above all health.

10. Prayer to the Virgen de las Mercedes for protection:

This powerful prayer to the Virgin must be done with great faith, you can light a white candle and ask her what you want, do it from the heart and your prayer will be heard.

Blessed Virgin of the Mercedes

Mother of God and of all Men,

Hope and Comfort of the afflicted,

Hear our cry

Hear our supplication as you once attended to that of Christian captives

And how you freed them from the chains of oppression

Free us today from selfishness and its chains

Deliver us from the lie, Deliver us from greed

Deliver us from insecurity and indifference

Deliver us from injustice, hatred and resentment

Help us Virgen de las Mercedes

To seek and find a remedy for our needs

(Make the Request)

And as always, help us in all dangers

We invoke you, Merciful Mother

And we trust you to teach us

To listen to the voice of God and to follow his teachings

And since our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

From the cross he entrusted us to your care and protection

Make the sweet name with which we venerate you shine upon us

Virgin of the Mercedes

Our Mother and Lady


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