The charism of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary is what distinguishes its members from other religious institutes. In order to fulfill this mission we, impelled by love, consecrate ourselves to God with a special vow, by virtue of which we promise to give up our lives, as Christ gave his life for us, should it be necessary, in order to save those Christians who find themselves in extreme danger of losing their faith by new forms of captivity.
To visit and free those Christian captives who, by circumstances contrary to the dignity of the human person, find themselves in danger of losing their faith.
As such, this vow, taken as a voluntary, conscious and absolute promise, is characteristic of our Order; inspires all the actions of its redemptive work and qualifies the fulfillment of our mission within the Church.
New Forms of Captivity
"In danger of losing their faith..."
The new forms of captivity, which constitute the proper field of the mission and fourth vow of the Mercedarians, occur where there is a social situation which contains the following conditions:
It is oppressive and degrading to the human person,
It springs from principles and systems opposed to the Gospel,
It puts the faith of Christians in danger,
It offers the possibility of helping, visiting, and redeeming people who are in such situations.