The Royal, Celestial and Military Order of Our Lady of Mercy and the Redemption of the Captives, or the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, known as the Mercedarians.
Founded in Barcelona by St. Peter Nolasco in 1218. Initially the order was comprised by ordained and lay monks and knights, by the 14th century the knights were suppressed. They would ransom captive Christians from the Muslims, often taking the place of the captives until the ransom was paid. Today they run parishes, schools, hospital chaplaincies and foreign missions. They take the fourth vow to give one’s life for someone in danger of losing their Christian faith.