Charity Pope Francisco, in "Evangelii Gaudium", says “The Church is called to be at the service of a difficult dialogue. On the one hand, there are people who have the means needed to develop their personal and family lives, but there are also many “non-citizens”, “half citizens” and “urban remnants”. (n.74)

If the history of the Basilica de la Merced and its Mercedarian tradition offer something, it is a special sensitivity towards all kinds of "captives". Only by reflecting in the message and work of Pedro Nolasco and Maria de Cervello will revive in us the desire, still present, that the Virgin has to exercise mercy towards the smaller. Charity should be the centre of our pastoral life in the Basilica.

It is no coincidence the presence of the community of the brothers of the lamb between us for many years is not accidental, nor the efforts made by the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Mercy to care for those less advantaged in the neighbourhood. 2018 will be the 800th anniversary of the miraculous appearance of the Virgin to San Pedro Nolasco, according to tradition on August 2, 1218, while the Order of Mercy was founded on the 10th of the same month and year. Two events that must illuminate truly painful situations that we see around us. How well we know this "permanent ambivalence" that causes poverty and exclusion of all kinds, and how well our Mother of Mercy knows it!