1. The Conversion of England and Wales.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”, Matthew 28:19.
2. The restoration of the lapsed.
“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?” Ezekiel 18:23
3. Prayer for the forgotten dead.
“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” 2 Maccabees 12:46
Our Lady of Ransom
“If victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because he wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her.”
St Pope John Paul II, ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope’
The title of Our Lady of Ransom is originally associated with the apparitions of Our Lady to St Peter Nolasco. She appeared to him on 1st August 1253 and showed him the white tunic and red cross to be adopted by the Order of Mercedarians which she wished King James of Aragon to establish. The purpose of the new Order was prayer and almsgiving for the redemption of Christian captives in Moorish hands. The apparition took place in Barcelona Cathedral where the Shrine of Our Lady of Ransom is to be found.
‘The spirit and aims of each founder should be faithfully accepted and retained.’
Vatican II, Perfectae Caritatis.
The co-founders of the Guild, Fr. Philip Fletcher M.A. & Mr. Lister Drummond Q.C. chose the title, Our Lady of Ransom, as they saw a spiritual parallel with the work of the medieval Ransomers. Through the members of the Guild they wished to ransom the country back as Mary’s Dowry by ransoming individuals from the darkness of unbelief and heresy into the light of the Catholic Faith.
Pope Leo XIII
‘The Pope is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’
Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 23.
The Guild was approved and blessed by Pope Leo XIII on 18th May 1889, whereupon he declared himself to be our ‘President’. Pope St. Pius X and his successors took the title ‘Protector’ [Protectore Archconfraternitatis S.M. de Mercede pro Conversionis Angliae et Cambriae]. This and several other minor titles were dropped from those listed in the Annuario Pontifico in the 1980s.
It was Pope Leo XIII, who, when meeting with the founders, prophesied, “When England returns to Walsingham, Our Lady will return to England.”