Raymond Nonnatus, St.

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Ransomer of Christian captives; b. Portello, Spain, c. 1204; d. Cardona, Catalonia, probably Aug. 31, 1240. His surname derives from his reputed birth by Caesarean section following his mother's death. In the absence of reliable contemporary sources, it is impossible to establish the events in his career. He is generally credited with noteworthy activity in ransoming Christian captives in Moorish North Africa and in Spain, and his zeal served as a model for the work of the mercedarian order. The claim that Raymond was created cardinal by gregory ix is historically uncertain. His intercession is invoked by mothers in childbirth and by the innocent charged with crime. In 1657 alexander vii permitted Raymond's name to be entered in the Roman martyrology.

Feast: Aug. 31.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Aug. 6:729776. g. vÁzquez nÚÑez, Manual de la historia de la orden de N. S. de la Merced, v.1 (Toledo 1931). b. de gaiffier, Analecta Bollandiana 58 (1940) 88. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4v. (New York 1956) 3:449450.

[o. j. blum]