August 31 - Saint Raymond Nonnatus

Quick Facts

  • Spanish nobility.
  • Well educated, his father planned a career for Raymond in the royal court in Aragon.
  • When Raymond felt drawn to religious life, his father ordered him to manage one of the family farms.
  • However, Raymond spent his time with the shepherds and workers, studying and praying until his father gave up the idea of making his son a wordly success.
  • Mercedarian priest, receiving the habit from Saint Peter Nolasco, the order's founder.
  • Master-general of Mercedarian Order.
  • Spent his entire estate ransoming Christians, then surrended as a hostage to free another.
  • Sentenced to death by impalement, he was spared because of his large ransom value.
  • Imprisoned and tortured, he still managed to convert some of his guards.
  • To keep him from preaching the faith, his captors bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron, and attached padlock.
  • Eventually ransomed, returning to Barcelona in 1239.
  • Created cardinal by Pope Gregory IX, Raymond continued to live as a mendicant monk.
  • He died while en route to Rome to answer a papal summons.