The order of Our Lady of Ransom or Order of Captives began in the 13th century in the Kingdom of Aragon (Spain) to ransom captive Christians (slaves) held in Muslim hands.
A religious Order redeems Christian slaves from the Turks
The Mercedarian Order (from the Spanish merced meaning grace, and the Latin merces meaning ransom) whose mission was to redeem the Christians held captive by Muslims, originated with an apparition of Our Lady to Saint Peter Nolasco:
In the middle of the night of August 1, 1218, on the feast of Saint Peter in Chains, the Virgin Mary appeared to Peter Nolasco and said, "My son, I am the Mother of the Son of God who, for the salvation and freedom of mankind, shed all his blood in suffering the cruel death of the Cross. I have come here to look for good people who desire, like my son, to give their lives for the salvation and freedom of their brethren in chains. »
"Therefore I wish that a religious Order be founded in my honor, whose members will redeem Christian slaves from the hands and tyranny of the Turks, giving themselves as a pledge if necessary, for those they cannot buy otherwise ... Don’t be afraid, Peter, I will assist you in all this, and so that you can believe my words, you will soon see the accomplishment of what I announced to you. You will see my sons and daughters of the Order (Our Lady of Mercy) proud to wear the same type of white clothes that you see me wearing."
It is estimated that these holy Mercedarians redeemed 900,000 Christian slaves from the Mohammedans from 1224 till 1787.
Our Lady of Ransom, pray for us.