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St. Raymond Nonnatus

AUGUST 31 is the traditional memorial of ST. RAYMOND CARDINAL NONNATUS (+1240). He was from Catalonia, Spain. Now, Nonnatus is not a Spanish surname. It actually means “not born”. Raymond was born by cesarean section as his mother died. The horrible event stayed with him.

As an adult, he joined the Mercedarian order, which was established to ransom Christian slaves from the Moslems. He became chief ransomer and was able to free 140 people in Valencia and 250 more in Algiers. Then, at Tunis, he became a hostage to free 28 more. When he was sentenced to death by impalement, the governor learned that Raymond had converted several Moslems. Thus, Raymond would be worth much money. He was tortured for eight months before finally being ransomed.

When he returned to Barcelona in 1239, Raymond was very ill, but died at the castle of Cardona.

St. Raymond is the patron saint of expectant mothers and midwives.

“We order and strictly command…that you teach theological purity, not “adulterating the word of God” by the creations of philosophers, lest around the altar of God you seem to wish to plant a grove contrary to the teaching of the Lord.”---Pope Gregory IX


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