What is the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy?
The purpose of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy is to help women and men who have been wounded (spiritually and emotionally) by abortion to embrace their call to holiness of life. The Confraternity will serve as a spiritual union of men and women who have repented of the sin of abortion and sought forgiveness from our Lord Jesus, and who now wish to strive for the perfection of love which is holiness. The Confraternity can serve as a follow-up program for the spiritual growth of those who have made Rachel’s Vineyard or similar retreats for post-abortion healing. The Confraternity also accepts as members any persons who might wish to join themselves spiritually with those who are post-abortive and striving for holiness.
Why is it called the “Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy”?
St. Margaret of Cortona, the Franciscan penitent, founded the original Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy in Cortona, Italy around 1286 A.D. Her Confraternity was for persons, like herself, who were penitent over past sexual sins. Since abortion is one of the greatest violations of a person’s sexual integrity and dignity, as well as being the killing of an innocent person, it is appropriate that we adopt the name of St. Margaret’s confraternity.
Our first patron is the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Mercy. We see Our Lady as our Mother of Mercy in that she brought our Savior Jesus Christ into our world in the mystery of the Incarnation. She sparked the beginning of his public ministry at Cana when she said: “They have no more wine,” leading him to change water into wine. She was given to us as our mother when she stood faithfully at the foot of the Cross, joining herself in her mother’s heart to Her Divine Son’s sacrifice for us on the Cross. Mary continues her work of spiritual motherhood from heaven: She prays for us and distributes the Lord’s grace and mercy to all who call upon her maternal intercession.
Our secondary patrons are St. Margaret of Cortona and St. Augustine, both of whom were caught up in lives of sexual sins for many years before their conversions. By their example of giving themselves totally to Jesus Christ after their conversions, they serve as models for all members of the Confraternity, that all of us are called to give ourselves totally to the Lord Jesus Christ and to be transformed by His Love and Mercy.