One of the most difficult things that some married couples have to face is the cross of infertility. Those not able to conceive and or carry a child to term suffer anguish and disappointment. Today, many couples make use of NFP medical advances, surgery or adoption to start a family. Or, unfortunately, some turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Here is another option—prayer to St. Raymond Nonnatus.
“St. Raymond is the most popular Saint of our Order,” says Fr. Joseph Eddy, O. de M., vocations director of the Order of Mercy (Mercedarians) in Philadelphia. “St. Raymond’s mother died while in labor with him, and he survived only when his uncle made an incision in his mother’s body and pulled him out. Because of his extraordinary birth, he is considered the special patron of childbirth, midwives, and pregnant women.”
The name of St. Raymond Nonnatus, a 13th century Spanish Mercedarian friar, originates from the Latin “nonnatus,” which means “not born.” The prayers to this revered saint have led to countless happy conceptions. For over seven hundred years women have turned to him for help in conceiving and childbirth. Here in the United States, the friars of the Order of Mercy have promoted devotion to St. Raymond since they came to the country in the 1920’s.
Since the 1950’s the popularity of the St. Raymond’s Guild has grown in America. The Order has shipped thousands of St. Raymond Nonnatus Kits throughout the United States. These kits consist of the Magnificat book (prayer book for expectant mothers and Christian families), St. Raymond holy card, blessed candle, and blessed St. Raymond water. The blessed candle, water, and prayer book are to be used by those desiring to have a child as well as expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy.
Through the intercession of the saints, we can make a special appeal to God to bring more children into the world, who can then glorify Him forever.
St. Raymond Kits are available for an offering, at MercySacramentals.org. For information on Mercedarian sacramentals, call 585-768-7426.