Today is the Feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus, not to be confused with St. Raymond of Peñafort.
St. Raymond Nonnatus was born to a noble Spanish family in the year 1204. As such, the young saint was well educated, and 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 success in the eyes of the world.
St. Raymond was ordained a Mercedarian priest, receiving the habit from Saint Peter Nolasco, the order’s founder. St. Raymond would become the Master-general of Mercedarian Order. As a member of the order, he spent his entire fortune ransoming Christians from Muslim captors, and then he surrendered himself 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. St. Raymond was eventually ransomed, returning to Barcelona, Spain in 1239. He was created a cardinal by Pope Gregory IX, although even as a Cardinal St. Raymond continued to live as a mendicant monk. He died while en route to Rome to answer a papal summon on August 31, 1240.
O God, You granted remarkable success to the efforts of the holy confessor Raymond in releasing Christians from the slavery of unbelievers. May his prayers free us from the slavery of sin, so that we may fulfill Your wishes with complete freedom. Through our Lord .
Prayer to Saint Raymond Nonnatus
O Blessed Saint Raymond Nonnatus, so loving to all your devotees, I being last of them all, I am happy to know that through the infinite goodness of God, He has deigned to make you a Saint, adorned thee with special graces and help, for which I am most thankful. On the Most Holy Trinity, and you my adorable patron saint, through your merits and those of the blood poured by our Savior Jesus Christ, and through the Immaculate Conception of Mary, I most humbly beg thee, deign to intercede from the most sublime God, protection for the holy Mother Church, that through your prayers, God's wrath be taken away, see the progress of true faith, defeat the wrong doctrines, the peace and understanding of all Christians, peace of the whole country and the redemption of the Christian captives.
I am humbly begging you my devoted saint, that you be may be my intercessor. Since for many hours you did not die of the womb of your dead mother an you were successfully delivered from her side, to be the joy of the world, and that my soul may live in grace in this earthly world, may I imitate your live and exemplary holiness, so that when the hour of my death comes, I may detest all evil thoughts and temporary wealth of this world, so that with the burning love for God, my soul may reach heaven and together with you and the angels and all the saints, praise God Almighty forever.
Deign to grant me most amiable father the favor I am asking in this novena (mention the request). I firmly believe most amiable father that you will be my protection since you are merciful to any one imploring thy help. But if the favor I am asking will not be for the glory of God and the good of my soul, then beg from God that I will be resigned to his Divine Will, so that I may have the peace of soul while I live, till the hour of my death and that I enjoy true happiness in heaven.