Our Lady Of Las Mercedes

Our Lady of Mercedes Day is a national holiday observed annually on September 24th in the Dominican Republic. It is a holiday that honors and celebrates the Virgin Mary on the feast day established in her honor in the 17th century by the Mercedarian Order.

Our Lady of Mercedes, also known as the Virgin of Mercedes, is considered the spiritual mother of Catholic Dominicans. This holiday 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, asking them to create the Mercedarian religious order. This order was established to free Christian captives from the Moors.

The order flourished 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 patron saint of the Dominican Republic.

Observing Our Lady of Mercedes

On this holiday, devout Catholic Dominicans pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Virgin until they reach Holy Hill in La Vega. After this procession, and participants have asked for help from the Virgin Mary, the Eucharist is usually held.

Many institutions across the Dominican Republic, including the National Guard, also hold special events to ask the Virgin for protection. People spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #LadyOfMercedes on their social media posts for the day.

Where is it celebrated?
Dominican Republic (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 24 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
September 24 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
September 24 Sunday