Today is the feast day of St. Raymond Nonnatus, whose name means “Raymond the Unborn”. St. Raymond’s mother died before giving birth, and he was taken by c-section. Pretty cool name, if you ask me. St. Raymond was a member of the Mercedarian Order, the goal of which was the ransoming of captives from the Mohammedans. St. Raymond ended up offering himself up in exchange for a Catholic prisoner, and converted enough of his captors that he was punished by having his lips pierced with hot iron and padlocked together.
So, if you think being a Catholic is tough today, or even if you’re just having a rough day, think about your lips being padlocked shut.
After returning to Rome, he died at a young age, after having been made Cardinal. He is invoked by women in labor and by those falsely accused. The Catholic Encyclopedia entry is here.
As an aside, the other St. Raymond, (of Penyafort), was also a Mercedarian, and co-founded the order with St. Peter Nolasco. That St. Raymond was a brilliant canon lawyer as it turns out, and also happens to be Cardinal Burke’s patron saint.
The feast of Our Lady of Ransom, or the feast of La Merced as they call her in Barcelona, occurs September 24. I have had the great privilege of visiting that city during the feast, which they celebrate with great gusto.
St. Raymond Nonnatus, pray for us!