Our Lady Of Las Mercedes
Our Lady of Mercedes Day is a national holiday that’s observed annually on September 24th in the Dominican Republic. It’s a holiday that honors and celebrates the Virgin Mary on the feast day that was established in her honor in the 17th century by the Mercedarian Order.
Our Lady of the Mercedes, also known as the Virgin of the Mercedes, is considered to be the spiritual mother of Catholic Dominicans. This is a holiday that dates back to the 17th century and is celebrated by thousands of worshippers each year-many of whom show up at churches across the country.
The History Of Our Lady Of Mercedes
According to tradition, Mary appeared to King James of Aragon and Saint Peter Nolasco to ask them to create the Mercedarian religious order. This order was established to free Christian captives from the Moors.
This order would flourish even after the Moors left Spain, and eventually, a feast day for Our Lady of Mercedes was created in 1615. In 1844, the Virgin of Mercedes was declared the Patroness of the Dominican Republic.
Observing Our Lady Of Mercedes
On this holiday, devout Catholic Dominicans will pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Virgin until they come to Holy Hill in La Vega. After this procession has taken place, and participants have asked for help from the Virgin Mary, Eucharist is usually held.
Many institutions across the Dominican Republic, including the national guard, will also hold special events to ask the Virgin for protection. People will also spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #LadyOfMercedes on their social media posts for the day.