This work begins the night of August 31, the feast day of St. Raymond Nonnatus, but there is some wiggle room and you absolutely can book late, as long as you see slots still available.
St. Raymond Nonnatus gets his name — which means the not-born — by virtue of his being delivered by C-section. Considering this happened in the early 13th century, it was quite an unusual event (and doubtless quite grisly), but his poor mother died in childbirth and this was the only way Raymond could be saved.
This is where his patronage of pregnant women, childbirth, midwives, and babies comes from. But as is typically the case, there’s a whole slew of additional lore and tradition that has sprung up around him that accounts for many aspects of his veneration today, as in ages past.
He’s sometimes pictured with his lips padlocked shut. This happened when he was in North Africa to ransom captured and enslaved Christians, which was the primary purpose of his religious order, the Mercederians, Members of the order would offer themselves in place of the Christian captive if they couldn’t meet the ransom demands of the Moors. This is how Raymond found himself in prison, held by captors who were not at all interested in being preached to or converted. Apparently he tried anyway, and the padlock was their response.
The link with gossip and covering the mouths of slanderers came about from popular associations with this iconography, so people petition him for help to stop gossip and slander and to silence their enemies and opponents (especially in court case work). This usage overlaps with peaceful home work in a lot of cases, where some element of gossip, slander, backtalk, or nagging is contributing to the lack of peace in a home, and I’ve seen him petitioned for this most often.
The second most popular usage I’ve encountered is probably money drawing/job-getting tied with peaceful home issues that don’t overlap with gossip/slander. Pregnancy and childbirth probably run a very distant third. (St. Gerard seems to have largely cornered that market among the folk practitioners I’ve talked to.)
Nonetheless, St. Raymond can be petitioned on issues relating to any of these. As with many saints, it’s traditional to thank him publicly for his intercession when he works for you.
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