Supplication to Our Lady of Ransom:
To obtain the Favor of her Patronage till Death.
(Can be said for nine consecutive days as a novena.)

The more exalted she is, the greater her clemency
and sweetness towards penitent sinners."--St. Gregory.

Sweet Mother! turn those gentle eyes
Of pity down on me;
Oh! hear thy suppliant's tearful cries,
My humble prayer do not despise,
Star of the pathless sea!

In dark temptation's dreary hour,
To thee, bright Queen, we flee;
Oh! then exert a mother's power,
When storms are rough and tempests lower;
Star of the raging sea!

Through all my joys and cares, sweet Maid,
May I still look on thee,
Who bore the Price our ransom paid,
And ne'er the suppliant's cry hath stayed;
Star of the azure sea!

And when my last expiring sigh,
My soul from earth shall free,
Do thou, bright Queen of Saints, stand by,
And bear it up to God on high,
Star of the boundless sea!

Say the Hail Mary three times followed by
the Hail Holy Queen in Latin or English


Translated into English from:

The origin of the image of Our Mother of Mercy, which is venerated in the Basilica of Mercy in Quito, is wonderful and full of mystery.

When the Spaniards arrived, in 1527 they found in the Isla de la Plata an image, that the natives had it as an idol, they came to it in their illnesses and in all needs.

They made silver votive offerings of the sick members and offered to the image. the Spaniards founds so many votive offerings, that they called the island: "Isla de la Plata" [in English: The Island of Silver]. The Mercedarian religious who came with the Spaniards saw in that image something more than an idol, it was an image of Mary; they consecrated it as Our Mother of Mercy [aka Our Lady of Ransom] and then moved it to Quito. The image is made of stone, carved with a lot of beauty, its origins are not known i.e. who, or when, or where it had been made. It is currently located on the high altar of the Basilica de la Merced in Quito. Undoubtedly, it is the most famous image of all Ecuador.

Being the first Marian image in Quito, and for Her miraculous deeds, the Spaniards when carrying out the distribution of lands assigned Our Lady of Merced some properties as if she were a living person, reason why the municipal council of the city of Quito recognizes Her, as Foundress, Citizen, Primary Settler and Protector of the City. Later, for the protection she had shown in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which were so frequent, she received the title of "Virgin of the Earthquake" and "Virgin of the Volcano". The history of Ecuador is very closely related to the history of this image. Her protection won Ecuador Her independence in the Battle of Pichincha. General Sucre took refuge in her protection and gave her his sword after the triumph.


With her help, García Moreno triumphed over the Peruvian army in the Battle of Guayaquil on September 24, 1860, because of which the National Convention declared Our Lady of Merced/ Ransom- Patroness and Special Protector of the Republic, of the Military Forces of Ecuador and promised to celebrate her feast "with a First-class Feast in the church in which it is venerated."

Later, first the FAE and then the Armed Forces, declared her Patroness and General of the Armed Forces. Five decrees ranging from 1575 to 1992, among many others of great value, make known the historical and religious importance of this portentous image:

1.- On September 15, 1575, "the councils (ecclesiastical and civil" gathered to make a Solemn Vow to perpetually celebrate a feast of thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin of Mercy, every year on September 8, the day on which in 1575, Quito was miraculously saved from the eruption of the Pichincha volcano.  "... that day having dawned with so much darkness, as if it were a pitch-black night, it was understood that the city was about to be lost by the ash that spewed from the volcano, with thunder and lightning of fire". And everything settled down with the protection of the Virgin of Mercy.

2.- The National Convention of 1851 ratified the previous declaration and declared her Patroness and Special Protectress of Quito against earthquakes: "The Virgin Mary is recognized, in her invocation of Mercies, as Patroness and Special Protector of this city against earthquakes. The feast of the expressed invocation (September 24) is declared a civic [holiday or feast] for this capital and will be celebrated with first-class attendance." Run and Promúlguese (f). Diego Noboa.

3.- The National Convention of 1861, declared the Blessed Virgin of Mercy, Patroness and Protector of the Republic of Ecuador, after the triumph of the Battle of Guayaquil, on September 24, 1860 [by Gabriel Garcia Moreno]:

Article 1: The Blessed Virgin Mary is recognized in her portentous invocation of Mercies as Patroness and Special Protector of the Republic".

Article 2: "The Feast of the enunciated invocation is declared Civic and will be ordered to be celebrated on September 24 with first class assistance, in the church in which it is venerated" (f) Gabriel García Moreno.

In 1963 the Military Government Junta declared her Patroness and General of the Armed Forces of Ecuador:

"[We] Recognize the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, as Patroness and General of the Armed Forces of Ecuador; and surrender through the Minister of National Defense to the image that is venerated in the National Historic Church – The Basilica of Mercy of Quito – the Sword and the Tricolor Band that accredits to her as General of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces."

4.- In 1970, Pope Paul VI declared her Principal Patroness of the Archdiocese of Guayaquil and of the other Dioceses of the Ecuadorian coast.

5.- In 1992, the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador declared her as Patroness and Protector of the prisons of Ecuador:

Article 1: [We] declare Our Lady of Mercy as Patroness and Celestial Protector of prisons and prisons of Ecuador.

Article 2: [We] celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mercy in all prisons of Ecuador.

+ Antonio González Zumárraga Archbihsop of Quito
President of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference.

These five decrees, among others, demonstrate how national history is linked to the invocation of the Virgin of Mercy, socially, militarily, politically and above all, universally.


O God who, with Thy Singular Providence, hast given to Thy people the patronage of the Blessed Mother of Thy Son, grant us through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, venerated under the title of Mercy, and Liberator, freedom through justice and charity to assist us and lead us to joyfully meet Thee [in Heaven]. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee in the Unity of the Holy Ghost - One God forever and ever. Amen


Prayer of a Sinner to Our Lady of Mercy
from the Glories of Mary
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

O my sovereign Queen and worthy mother of my God, most holy Mary: I, seeing myself, as I do, so despicable, and loaded with so many sins, ought not to presume to call thee Mother, or even to approach thee; yet I will not allow my miseries to deprive me of the consolation and confidence that I feel in calling thee Mother; I know well that I deserve that thou shouldst reject me; but I beseech thee to remember all that thy son Jesus has endured for me, and then reject me if thou canst. I am a wretched sinner, who, more than all others, have despised the infinite majesty of God: but the evil is done. To thee have I recourse; thou canst help me: my Mother, help me. Say not that thou canst not do so; for I know that thou art all powerful, and that thou obtainest whatever thou desirest of God; and if thou sayest that thou wilt not help me, tell me at least to whom I can apply in this my so great misfortune. Either pity me, will I say, with the devout St. Anselm, 'O, my Jesus, and forgive me, or do thou pity me, my mother Mary, by interceding for me, or at least tell me to whom I can have recourse, who is more compassionate, or in whom I can have greater confidence than in thee.' Oh, no; neither on earth, nor in heaven, can I find anyone who has more compassion for the miserable, or who is better able to assist me, than thou canst, O Mary. Thou, O Jesus, art my Father, and thou, Mary, art my Mother. You both love the most miserable, and go seeking them in order to save them. I deserve hell and am the most miserable of all. But you need not seek me, nor do I presume to ask so much. I now present myself before you with a certain hope that I shall not be abandoned. Behold me at your feet; my Jesus, forgive me; my Mother Mary, help me.

Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy
from the Raccolta, 1878

Holiest Mary, mother of goodness, mother of mercy! when I reflect on my sins and on the moment of my death, I tremble and am filled with confusion. My sweetest mother, in the blood of Jesus and in thy intercession are my hopes. Comfort of the afflicted! abandon me not at my death-agony; fail not to console me in that great affliction. If, even now, I am so tormented by remorse for sin committed, by the uncertainty of forgiveness, by the danger of a relapse, and the rigor of divine justice, how will it be with me then? Mother, before death overtake me, obtain for me a great sorrow for my sins, a true amendment, and a constant fidelity to God, in all that yet remains to me of life. And when, indeed, my hour is come, then do thou, Mary, be my hope, be thou mine aid in the anguish in which my soul will be overwhelmed; when the enemy sets before my face, my sins, oh! comfort me then, that I may not despair. Obtain for me at that moment to invoke thee often, that, with thine own sweet name and that of thy most holy Son upon my lips, I may breathe forth my spirit. This grace thou hast granted to many of thy servants: I, too, desire it, and hope to obtain it.

Hail Mary, three times.

For more history of Our Lady of Ransom...