St. Peter Nolasco, from the files of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, and St. Joseph
Head of Mercedarian Friars Asks for Prayers on Feast of St. Joseph, March 19
The head of an 800-year-old religious order of men is asking his fellow friars to make a “Chain of Redemptive Love” in an appeal to St. Joseph to combat the widespread suffering caused by the coronavirus.
Fr. Juan Carlos Saavedra Lucho, O. de M., master general of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, asked his friars in a March 14 letter to “Let us help the new captives so that they can overcome the psychosis, the chaos, the anxiety and uncertainty of each day, showing that the Mercedarian is always at the side of the sick and needy.”
“Our master general’s words will no doubt be a comfort to many,” noted Fr. Daniel Bowen, O. de M., who helps staff a Cleveland, OH parish and who is the Order’s United States vocation director.
“Those of our friars who work in parishes, hospitals, prisons and parish ministry have felt the anguish and loss of hope among so many people in the last week or two,” Fr. Daniel said.
Fr. Juan Carlos urged his friars to pray urgently on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph:
“As we see through the networks of social media, the news of the dead and affected by this disease are on the rise; therefore, in search of an antidote, the world is convulsed. Faced with this, I propose to make a ‘Chain of Redemptive Love’ on the 19th of March dedicated to Saint Joseph, patron of the Family and the Universal Church as a sign of our concern for those most affected in the world.”
Mercedarian Friars Offer Their Lives to Help 17th Century Plague Victims
This religious order of men that was founded 800 years ago went the extra mile to help plague-stricken victims, even though it meant their death, Fr. Daniel said.
Eight friars of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy heroically gave aid to the people of plague-stricken Palermo in 1625-26, and died as a result of contracting the disease.
“These men generously offered their own lives to the people of Palermo,” he said, adding, “This shows that Christians have dealt with such troubles as the coronavirus before, and this will not keep us back from loving the Lord and one another.”
Friars of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy can be found in five continents and 22 countries. Most of the friars are found in the Americas, Italy and India.
To learn more about the Mercedarian Friars USA, Contact Fr. Daniel Bowen, O. de M., at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Br. Dominic Whetzel, O. de M. at email@example.com.
Visit the website of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.