Many of the venerable orders in the Church take a fourth vow that harkens back to previous times yet still is pertinent today. The Camillians, founded by St. Camillus de Lellis (b. 1550) profess a vow to care for the sick, even at the risk of their own lives. The Mercedarians’ fourth vow is to give up their lives, as Christ gave His life for us, in order to save those Christians who find themselves in extreme danger of losing their faith.
The Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by Maria del Refugio, were joined to the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (Mercedarians)in 1946. Mother wanted to put the sisters under the patronage of Our Lady of Mercy and share therefore in all the graces and indulgences given to the Mercedarian Order.
The sisters believe that true freedom comes through the Eucharist. For those enslaved today by modern forms of oppression and addiction, the sister’s want them to experience the merciful love of God, by living in solidarity and communion with them as God lives in solidarity and communion with us in the Eucharistic mystery.
Every day, when we go to the encounter of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we surrender to Him everything we are and do, and we ask Him to transform us into Himself. …In the evening, we go back to prayer, carrying with us the unredeemed world and present it to Jesus asking Him to hasten the day when He will be all in all.
If you (or someone you know) feel called to such a sacrificial, Eucharistic life, the sisters are having “Shadow the Sisters” Days, April 10-17, 2014. For young women age 18-25, it is a chance to walk in the shadow of a Mercedarian sister to see how she prays, works, teaches, evangelizes and experiences joy in community. The location is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community in Cleveland, OH. There is no fee though donations are welcome.
For more information, please visit their website.