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Famous Car Company Named for the Virgin Mary

The Blessed Mother's name is everywhere! I'm not just talking about all the women named Mary, Maria, or Marie .. or even Regina, Guadalupe, Carmel, Fatima, Rosario, etc.

All generations for the last 2,000 years have been calling Mary "Blessed" as she prophesied in her Magnificat. That means people have been honoring Mary and her name for a long time.

But did you know that one of the world's largest car companies is also named after Mary?

So which car company is named after the Virgin Mary? Our Lady of Ford? The Virgin of Toyota? No ...

Though not named for Christ, Chrysler was actually led for a time by Father John Riccardo's dad, an amazing man and father, who also recruited Lee Iacocca. Pontiac was a famous chief of the Ottawa tribe. Elon Musk's Tesla car company is named for the Serbian inventor and engineer, Nikola Tesla.

But what about Mary?

In 1901, Emil Jellinek, a wealthy Austrian diplomat, automobile entrepreneur, and racing enthusiast commissioned Wilhelm Maybach and Paul Daimler to design a revolutionary racecar.

That car would become the world's first "modern car". It would spawn, not only an entirely new era in car design, but one of the most successful car companies in world history!

Emil Jellinek would name that car as well as the company for his daughter. His daughter's name? Mércédès.

Wait ... how does Mércédès connect to Mary?

The name Mércédès is of Spanish origin. Mércédès refers to Our Lady of Ransom, whose Spanish title is Our Lady of Mercies. Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes or La Virgen de la Merced in Spanish and French, respectively.

The name Our Lady of Ransom or Our Lady or Mercies came about when Muslim invaders enslaved many Christians in Spain. This occurred during the conquest of Spain by the Moors.

A religious order of men dedicated to Our Lady was formed to help free the captive Christians from slavery. They called themselves the Mercederians, or the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.

Speaking of the Mercederians, Sister Dulce Maria is working miracles right now at the Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Christ appeared to Sister Dulce and gave her His own hands of healing. Read more about her!

This is also where the name of Merced, California come from. Merced is the city and county named after the Merced River. The Merced River's full name is El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced or River of Our Lady of Mercy. The Merced River was named in 1806 by an expedition headed by Gabriel Moraga. Moraga's expedition came upon the river at the end of a hot, dusty ride across the San Joaquin Valley along the El Camino Viejo.

One last connection! This is All Roads Lead to Rome after all :)

Mércédès also appears in one of the great Catholic novels of Alexandre Dumas père. Mércédès is the love of Edmond Dantès, the title character in The Count of Monte Cristo.

Now, when you hear "Mércédès", will you just think of a car company?

The name Mercedes should inspire you to think of Our Lady's long history of powerful intercession ... which ultimately gave the car company its beautiful name!

Please comment below and remember to share!

Our Lady of Ransom, pray for us!

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