- Anne DeSantis
St. Raymond Nonnatus
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
St. Raymond Nonnatus is the patron saint of childbirth, midwives, children, pregnant women, and priests defending the confidentiality of confession. We celebrate his Feast Day on August 31st each year. St. Raymond, pray for us.
Birth and childhood
St. Raymond Nonnatus came from a town called Portello, situated in the Segarra region of the Province of Lerida in Spain, at the very dawn of the thirteenth century. He was given the name “Nonnatus” (meaning not born) because he came into the world through C-section after his mother had died in childbirth. In his adolescence and early youth, Raymond devoted himself to the pasturing of sheep in the vicinity of a Romanesque hermitage dedicated to St. Nicholas where an image of the Virgin Mary was venerated. His devotion to the Holy Mother of Jesus started there at this time.
Raymond joined the Mercedarian Religious Order at an early age and was a student of the founder of the Order St. Peter Nolasco. He endured the torment of having his lips sealed shut as he had attempted to spread the Gospel and to liberate captives who had been forced to renounce their faith at that time. He was rescued from this cruelty by one of his Mercedarian brothers, and Pope Gregory IX appointed him Cardinal of the Church of San Eustaquio.
Death and sainthood
Summoned by the pontiff, Raymond was on his way home from Rome when he died in the strong rocky castle of Cardona in 1240. The Order of Mercy and the city of Cardona argued over where he should be buried. It was entrusted to divine providence on the harness of a blind mule. Without anyone leading the mule, the body was led to the hermitage of St. Nicholas where his venerable body was buried. Today he is one of the most celebrated saints of the Mercedarian Order. He is the patron saint of expectant mothers, Christian families and of those who are falsely accused.
Anne DeSantis is the Director of the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation, founded through the Mercedarian Religious Order in 2015. The foundation offers pastoral outreach to families in crisis, especially families and individuals affected by divorce and separation. To learn more about the foundation, go to www.Nonnatus.org. Anne is a wife, mother, author and speaker. Her new book Love and Care for the Marginalized is published by Charis Publishing.