Raymond Nonnatus vs. Amelia Bloomer

With the final battle of Elate Eight week, we will head into the weekend with the full slate of the Faithful Four. After yesterday’s victory by Franz Jägerstätter over Mecthild of Magdeburg 67% to 33%, three of the four tickets have been punched. Franz will join Stephen and Florence Nightingale while we await the outcome of today’s battle between Raymond Nonnatus and Amelia Bloomer.

To make it this far, Raymond defeated John of Nepomuk and Moses the Black while Amelia made it past Philipp Melanchthon and Fanny Crosby.

Are you ready for the final three days of the 2017 Saintly Smackdown? Here’s how it will go: On Monday Stephen will face Franz. On Tuesday today’s winner will face Florence Nightingale. On Spy Wednesday, we’ll send one of the two remaining saints to (additional) eternal glory by awarding the coveted Golden Halo. There’s a lot more Madness to come but that’s how next week will go.

In the meantime, vote! And spend the weekend preparing for next week’s final flourish.

Raymond Nonnatus

To no one’s surprise, Raymond Nonnatus is a kitsch-heavy saint.

There are, of course, the assortment of kitschy items dedicated to Raymond himself. There’s a catchy album of music, if you would care to calmly meditate upon getting your mouth drilled with a red-hot poker. Unfortunately, from the samples provided, it sounds like a head-on collision between Kenny G and that NPR show that comes on at 2:00 am and only plays music about space.

There is also this helpful magnet of a St. Raymond icon, that you could stick to your office filing cabinet, to remind you to cut down on malicious office gossip. To further this endeavor, you might also want to sprinkle around some St. Raymond oil. The seller helpfully indicates that the oil does not smell like the name — so if you were concerned that it would have Eau de Really Dead Guy, worry not! (No word on what it DOES smell like though. If one of the Lent Madness Commentariat would like to purchase it and report back, please do!)

On a more serious side, the Library of Seville, in Spain, has a 17th century manuscript detailing the feats and miracles of St. Raymond that is available for free download. If your Spanish is good, you can grab it for free, and read all about the testimony of the cardinals about the holy saint!

We cannot forget that St. Raymond also has his very own TV show. ‘Call the Midwife’ is also a font of lovely tie-in kitsch, from DVDs and cardigans to felt mice and color-coordinated yarn.  If you have always wanted to be a do-gooder in the slums of pre-welfare state Britain, you can! Or at least look like it.  






However, perhaps you have more pressing concerns in the present. Perhaps you are turning to St. Raymond in an effort to stop slander against yourself or a loved one, and what you require is a lock. But not just any lock — no! What you need is a special padlock to empower your particular prayer of intercession in this unique case. In such a situation, may I interest you in one of the many antique padlocks the internet helpfully has on offer? Such as this magnificent example,which was made in 1904 with the state seal of Missouri on it to honor the World’s Fair! With this, I imagine you could stop the ENTIRE STATE OF MISSOURI from talking about you.

“But Megan!” you protest, “The person who is slandering me is known unto me! He is a retired professional baseball player and I must specifically target my prayers accordingly! What then can I do?”

Fear not, brave friend. There is also hope for you. For in the depths of their wisdom, Major League Baseball released a series of commemorative padlocks with the images of pro ball players upon them! Yes! And so you may stop the trash talking of Andy Horner, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals with a specific padlock, through the wonders of modern late-stage capitalism.

Megan Castellan

Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer — reformer, suffragette, temperance leader, and Christian. She’s a woman of substance who did not let the limitations placed on her by others define her.

So, as you’re challenging expectations and limitations and marching for justice, don’t forget your Amelia Bloomer tote bag, complete with images of not one but TWO pair of bloomers drying on the line. Comfortable clothing and environmentally friendly, all in one!

After a long day of marching for the dignity of every human being, relax by having your beverage of choice poured from your very own Amelia Bloomer flask. Of course, because Amelia found alcohol completely immoral, so much so that she wouldn’t dine in a home that had spirits within, you’d only put appropriate beverages in the flask.


Amelia’s story is quite amazing, so if you need to brush up on her adventures, you can read all about it at Lent Madness or this nifty children’s book.

Let’s not forget that for all Amelia did for women’s rights, she is most commonly remembered not for her intelligent and witty writings in the first newspaper published by and for women, nor for the dedicated work she did to gain women the right to vote and run for public office, nor for the way she challenged the church hierarchy to face their gender bias, but for a pair of pants, bloomers, as they came to be called.

We are fortunate that women and men still benefit from her faithful work, and we are fortunate we still benefit from her savvy fashion sense. Don’t you want your very own modern interpretation of Amelia Bloomer’s bloomers? 

Laurie Brock

Raymond Nonnatus vs. Amelia Bloomer

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