Saint of the Day for 31 August: St Raymond Nonnatus
St Raymond Nonnatus: An example of compassion and mercy
St Raymond Nonnatus
Circa 1200, Portell (Spain)
31 August 1240, Cardona (Spain)
09 May 1626, Rome, Pope Urban VIII
13 August 1669, Rome, Pope Clement IX
O lovable St Raymond, you who from the earliest age gave yourself completely to God, sacrificing everything for Him, make us also direct all the affections of our heart to Heaven, despising all the vanities of the world. You who were a perfect exemplar of every virtue, grant that we may imitate you in them, but especially in your tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin, in your ardent charity towards your neighbour and in your angelic purity. Yes, O dear Saint, from your glorious throne turn your benevolent gaze upon us, and help us always, always … that we may then come in your company to enjoy, with ineffable union, the Supreme Good for all eternity.
At Cardona in Catalonia, Saint Raymond Nonnatus, who was among the first companions of Saint Peter Nolasco in the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede and is said to have suffered much in the name of Christ for the liberation of prisoners.
The Saint and Mission
St Raymond Nonnatus is a figure who embodies the Christian ideal of mission: to go where comfort, help and liberation are most needed. As a member of the Order of Mercede, he dedicated himself to freeing captured and enslaved Christians, often putting his life in danger to accomplish this mission. His commitment goes beyond mere assistance; it represents a call to action for all of us, prompting us to reflect on how we can contribute to the welfare of others, both spiritually and materially.
In the life of St Raymond, we see a clearly defined mission inspired by the principles of justice and mercy. This saint teaches us that mission is not an abstract concept, but an active vocation that requires courage, sacrifice and a deep sense of empathy. His story is a living reminder that, in the context of religious and humanitarian missions, the ultimate goal is always the dignity and freedom of the individual. In a world that often appears divided and indifferent, St Raymond Nonnatus shows us the way to an authentic mission of life and service to others.
The Saint and Mercy
St Raymond Nonnatus is a shining symbol of divine mercy. Known as the patron saint of parturients, hostages and the silenced, his life is a testament to compassion and altruism. He unreservedly spent his life to free enslaved Christians, often risking his own safety to give hope and comfort to those in the clutches of suffering. In a world that often seems devoid of mercy, the story of St Raymond reminds us of the importance of acting with mercy and unconditional love.
The Order of Mercede
The Order of Mercede, also known as the Order of Our Lady of Mercede, is a Catholic religious order founded in the 13th century with the primary purpose of ransoming Christians captured and enslaved during wars and conflicts. This unique mission embodies the essence of the Gospel in its purest form: liberating the oppressed, offering hope to the desperate and embodying God’s mercy in the world.
The Order is a model of how faith can be translated into concrete actions of social justice. In addition to redeeming slaves, the Order has extended its activities to various other works of mercy, including education and care for the poor and sick. In a world that faces multiple forms of slavery-from human trafficking to systemic oppression-the Order of Mercede remains relevant and inspires new generations to take concrete action in the name of justice and mercy.
In this age when divisions seem so irremediable, the Order stands as a witness to the unifying power of compassion and charity. Their mission is a reminder that regardless of race, religion or background, everyone deserves to live with dignity and freedom. And that it is our duty, as members of the human family, to work tirelessly to realise this aspiration.
S. Raymond, nicknamed Nonnatus (unborn) because he came into the world by medical operation after the death of his mother, was born in Catalonia in the year 1204 to a noble family. His father, after allowing him to attend his studies for some time, suddenly sent him to work in the fields.
Llull took advantage of this solitude to spend more time in prayer and…