Saint Raymond Nonnatus


I remember when I decided to begin working with the Saints. I was raised Southern Baptist, so working with saints was a new thing for me. I wanted to start an altar, but none of the saints really seemed to “speak” to me. So, I decided I would leave it up to chance. I had a habit (and still do) of frequenting Goodwill and other thrift stores. I really had my heart set on having one of the traditional chalkware statues, but didn’t know if that was something I could even find at a thrift store. I kind of made a deal with whomever was listening; I said that whatever such statue I found first, that would be My First Saint. Turns out, it was Saint Raymond.

I found him in a Savers. He was half-painted and had a petition in Spanish still taped to the bottom. I was able to make out most of what the petition was for — a mother appealing on behalf of her incarcerated son. I wish I had kept the petition, but it seemed too personal, so I burned it. I repainted the statue and he has been with me now, 20+ years.

Raymund Nonnatus was born in Spain in 1204. His nickname, Nonnatus, meaning “not born” refers to his birth by Caesarean section, his mother having died while giving birth to him. So, it is no wonder then that Saint Raymond is the patron saint of childbirth, midwives, children, pregnant women, defending against lies and slander, and defending the falsely accused. Though he was a noble by birth, he spent his entire fortune freeing slaves by paying ransoms to their captors. He even offered himself as a hostage to free one. He is often pictured with a padlock through his lips because while he was held as a hostage, he would fervently preach Christianity, winning the Lord many converts, even those who were previously of the Muslim faith  This greatly aggravated his captors, so they bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron and padlocked his mouth shut. Should you wish to honor him, his feast day is August 31.

Here’s a good prayer for appealing for the freedom of one falsely accused:

“Oh, kind and protective Saint Raymond, please intercede on behalf of <insert person’s name here>. He is unjustly accused and deserves to be a free man. Please make the legal Powers That Be see his unquestionable innocence and drop all charges in his case, clearing his good name, completely. In addition, please keep him safe and protected until the wheels of justice can turn in his favor. If you help us in this way, gracious Saint Raymond, then I will donate <dollar amount> dollars to the <appropriate charity of your choice>. Please shield this good man with the power of our Lord. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

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