You’ve probably heard of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Church celebrates this feast annually on October 7. But, are you familiar with Our Lady of Good Remedy?

Probably not.

Nonetheless, it’s a feast – and title – of the Blessed Virgin Mary that you should explore.

Devotion to Mary under the title “Our Lady of Good Remedy” began 800 years ago. Muslim fleets would capture Catholic ships, and take away all of the men, women, and children. They were sold into slavery by the thousands. Catholics lived in constant fear of being hauled off into slavery. The women were taken off and placed into Muslim harems.

It was a serious problem for which no one seemed to have the answer.

In 1198, St. John of Matha founded the Trinitarians, or Brothers of the Holy Trinity, with the mission to uphold the freedom of all people. St. John of Matha entrusted to the Trinitarians the task of freeing the Christian slaves.

They would go into the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves, and set them free. Of course, this required large sums of money, and so they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary.

With Mary’s help, the Trinitarians were so successful that, over the centuries, they were able to free thousands and thousands of people and return them safely home.

In order to show his gratitude and give honor to Mary for her powerful intercession, St. John of Matha gave Mary the title, “Our Lady of Good Remedy.” Under this title, Mary is often depicted as handing a bag of money to St. John of Matha.

The Our Lady of Good Remedy devotion spread widely throughout Europe and Latin America and eventually October 8 was marked as the feast of Our Lady of Good Remedy. It’s been celebrated on that day ever since.

In spite of its being 800 years old, I find that the Our Lady of Good Remedy devotion is very timely indeed.

There are folks trapped in slavery all over the world right this minute.

Certainly, who first comes to mind are the Christians being persecuted in the Middle East. That’s slavery in the real sense of the word. Not only are they being captured and enslaved, but the women are being raped and mutilated and the men are being put to horrible deaths.

I think also of those who do not yet know Christ, those who are searching and those who have no idea that they’re even supposed to search. There enslaved in ignorance.

Or, how about those who have succumbed to the evil one? They are enslaved in the deepest form of darkness.

Then, there are those who are enslaved in poverty, chronic illness, disability, abusive relationships, or mental illness. All of these can be forms of slavery.

Also enslaved are those who are caught in desperate situations of many different kinds. Distress, hardship, fear, anger, confusion, or even spiritual dryness can enslave us and make us miserable.

Whatever form of slavery you or those you care about suffer from, you will find solace and assistance from Our Lady of Good Remedy. All you need to do is ask in faith and trust.

Our Lady of Good Remedy is one of Mary’s lesser-known titles, and it’s one that should be more widely known. Slavery is all around us and she has the intercessory power to achieve freedom.

EWTN has a beautiful prayer to Our Lady of Good Remedy that also can be used as a novena. Just click here.