Saint Raymond Nonnatus
Another Saint of the Day for August 31
Saint Raymond Nonnatus’ Story
Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. He was delivered by a caesarean operation when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). He joined the Mercedarians under Saint Peter Nolasco at Barcelona. He succeeded Peter as chief ransomer and went to Algeria to ransom slaves. Raymond remained as hostage for several slaves when his money ran out and was sentenced to be impaled when the governor learned that he had converted several Mohammedans. He escaped the death sentence because of the ransom he would bring, but was forced to run the gauntlet. Raymond was then tortured for continuing his evangelizing activities but was ransomed eight months later by Peter Nolasco.
On his return to Barcelona in 1239, Raymond was appointed Cardinal by Pope Gregory IX, but died at Cardona a short distance from Barcelona the next year while on the way to Rome. He was canonized in 1657. He is the patron saint of expectant mothers and midwives because of the nature of his own birth. Although his mother died in labor, Raymond miraculously survived the ordeal.
Raymond almost didn’t make it at birth, but what an adventure-filled life. Little did his family know at his birth that he would do and endure all that he did. How many parents of newborns wonder what the child will become? Life is a surprising adventure.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus is the Patron Saint of: