Fr. Eugene Costa, O. de M. has been the Order’s novice master for over 35 years. He imparts a little of his “pearls” of knowledge to us about St. Raymond Nonnatus.
Just a little thought for today’s feast.
How wonderful that we bring the statue of Saint Raymond Nonnatus to our parish of Our Lady of Mercy. And I think it is so important for us to realize a few facts about him.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus is the patron for life, for expectant mothers, and for families.
He was one of the original companions of Saint Peter Nolasco in the early 1200s. He was chosen as a priest and as a ransomer for the Christian captives. Now it is important for us to realize that in the General Chapter, when they chose him, it was because of three factors: he could speak to Moslems, he was very holy, and he was heroic in that he would die for the faith. So, he was chosen.
And as we know, Saint Raymond did go on campaign for the Christian captives – to save them. And while he was there he suffered for the faith – for the truth. And the Pope, because of his great heroic sanctity, made him a cardinal.
Patron for families
Now it is important for us to know that Saint Raymond is not only the patron for life, and for expectant mothers, but also for families. How we need a patron for families! And we need this intercessor because we all must realize, we must know that in our families there are trials, difficulties, crosses and disappointments. Saint Raymond wants to be an advocate for us.
I would like to share with you something about this statue. Notice that he has the palm of martyrdom – Saint Raymond did not suffer death, but he suffered for the truth, and proclaiming that truth. There are three crowns on the top of that palm of martyrdom.
The first crown was that he was confessor to the truth. He proclaimed the truth, he lived the truth, he suffered for the truth and the papacy gave him the office of cardinal because of that. Saint Raymond’s statue is on the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The second crown is that he was truly a saint, very holy, for he loved the faith. He is shown always with the monstrance because of his true sanctity and his purity which he kept all his life.