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

  • Amelia Bloomer (59%, 3,386 Votes)
  • Raymond Nonnatus (41%, 2,313 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,699

Loading ... Loading ...


* indicates required

Recent Posts



176 comments on “Raymond Nonnatus vs. Amelia Bloomer”

  1. For Raymond Nonnatus and Amelia Bloomer
    Tune: Diademata. Hymnal ’82, 494 Crown him with many crowns

    Praise to our wondrous God
    Whose love will never end.
    Praise for the grace that flows through all;
    For us to share again.
    For saints whose lives still sing
    God’s glory in our world,
    That we may give the love received
    As awe-filled hearts unfurl.

    Praise for a saint whose life
    Was given to freeing slaves.
    Who gave himself for others’ needs
    And suffered for his faith.
    Patron of silence, he
    Has much to give today.
    Teach us to listen silently
    So our lives speak your grace.

    Praise for a woman strong
    Who gives a fearless voice
    To women who are treated as
    A lesser, foolish race.
    Her true abiding faith
    Gave her the courage to
    Write, dress and speak as one beloved
    By God who is all Truth.

    Praises again we sing
    For nurturing and care
    Giv’n through the saints before, and now
    It’s our great gift to share.
    For silence and for voice
    To hear, proclaim to all
    The freedom given in holy love;
    Our hope in face of fear.

    1. Thanks once again. Facing a day of noise today, so it helps to remember the Patron of Silence!

    2. Hi Diana
      My wife and I would be delighted to visit the Community and meet you! We're planning a visit sometime in June. I will contact you through the Mother House and let you know when we will be coming.
      Go Raymond!

      1. Great, Harlie. I look forward to it. We will be in our annual long retreat from June 12 -18. Other than that, I don't know what is scheduled, but I should be relatively free to get to know you both. If you want to private message me on Facebook and give me your e-mail, we can be in better contact.

    3. Diana
      Your poetry has replaced the hole in my heart left by Oliver's disappearance!

      1. Adelaide,
        Someone named Oliver voted yesterday. I don't know if it's the same Oliver we've been concerned about. I miss him, too.

    4. Another great one, Diana!

      Sadly, my vote for Nonnatus seems to be a losing one. But I did like the bloomers on display, Laurie.

      1. My vote for Neonates, who clearly has the more, and perhaps the better, kitsch of the two, also seems to be going for nonnaught.

    5. Thank you Diana! I sang this to my husband as we drove back from the gym. We vote together each day on the way to the gym!! One vote only, of course!
      Your hymns are amazing!!

  2. For the first time this Lent Madness season, I really do not care who wins this match. Voted for Bloomer just because she beat Crosby who was one of my wishes to make the finals. But just like the other Madness by choices are already gone before the final four.

  3. I will never vote for a "temperance leader." Voluntary abstinence is a virtue. Legal prohibitionism is immoral.

    1. Seemed like a good idea at the time though. As did women's franchise and wearing pants. Thank you, Ms. Bloomer, for that! Go Amelia!

    2. So, Pete, should we also make opiates (heroin, etc.), stimluants (speed, crack, etc.), etc. not subject to prohibition? Is it immoral that they are currently illegal?

    3. We look at temperance from the twenty-twenty vision afforded us after discovering the manifold reasons why prohibition does not work. This is patently unfair.

      Were it not for the efforts of the temperance leaders, there would not have been the push for women to get the vote. One has to ask, absent that push at that time, what would have gained the vote for women?? How long would women have to wait.

      We have recently had it rubbed forcefully into our noses how very much our country clings to the older ways, so it should be no surprise to consider the possibility that even today women might not have the vote. For those who say, "Surely not!" I just chuckle. With what we've seen of the true underbelly of America, I can confidently respond, "Wanna bet?"

      The temperance folks saw powerless, helpless women watching as their husbands gave in to hopeless despair and drank their wages at the nearest bar. They thought that abolishing drinking would solve the problem, and of course the smug, self righteous ones can say the plan did not work. Actually, by getting women the right to vote, it indirectly DID help those women by enfranchising them, a small step toward their emancipation from the tyranny of their men who were then answerable to no one. They saw an ill and at least tried to do something, and it was only in doing it that we found out decisively why it wasn't such a great idea after all.
      Hindsight is always 20/20 and a little smug.

    4. The enduring results of prohibition which I see (not only in the US, but in other English-speaking countries) include:

      1. A binge-drinking culture that developed because a large number of people were given the false impression that there was very little middle ground between problem drinking and ideologically-driven abstinence even though (as early as the late 19th c.) Americans (at least those living in urban areas) had plenty of examples of responsible imbibers in their Italian-American, Jewish-American, and Greek-American neighbours.

      2. An attitude that views any safety-related legislation (seat belts, motorcycle helmets ....) as a "nanny state" intrusion on people's liberties.

      3. An acceptance of organised crime as a "normal" part of society (given that they were the most reliable suppliers of liquor to the public during Prohibition).

      I voted for Ms. B. because of her involvement in the Women's Suffrage movement, but I see her involvement in an abstinence-oriented temperance movement as problematic.

      And, by the way, I'm aware of plenty of examples of domestic violence committed by men who are teetotallers.

    1. That is great! I'm doubly glad I voted for Amelia now. (And am going to look up the musical itself.)

  4. I was going to vote for A. Bloomer, then realized I would rather drink in public and hang my underwear away for public eyes. Yes, I know this is a silly reason, but it is KITCHY week. Besides you have to like a magnet that
    "you could stick to your office filing cabinet, to remind you to cut down on malicious office gossip."

  5. Hey Christians? Where you at? ITS LENNNTTTT MADNESS! GET OUT AND VOTE EARLY!
    (I voted for Raymond btw)

  6. I like bloomers and have some really cute ones from April Cornell for sleeping. So, no choice!

  7. Had to go with Raymond for the overwhelming wave of kitsch; but I'll say no more...

  8. I think the kitsch stuff is too much. Really disrespectful to those who went before us.
    Possibly Amelia would think the bloomers are funny but I don't like kitsch.
    Mostly they would not have even understood why some think these things funny now and I have a pretty good sense of humor and I even swear.

      1. When it comes to liking kitsch, all can, some should, none must, but try to not be too much a #KitschKrank. 😉

    1. I really enjoy the kitsch, but do not consider it in my voting; I go back to the earlier posts to refresh my mind on what really matters.

  9. I thought this year was very disappointing. I wish that we could stick to actual saints instead of just good dead people. And I have almost without fail picked the loser.

    1. Hi Sue. I'm curious about your post, about how you, personally, define actual saints. This is a conversation I've had a couple of times in groups, and I'd be interested in having you weigh in. Thanks.

    2. Sue, I too have been disappointed with the results of the voting. It reminds of junior high school when people voted for something just to see if the absurd would win and they could have a good laugh. Either that or the voting is fixed and I don't like that scenario either.

    3. Maybe I should put the padlock back on my lips this morning, but I hope that I might respectfully say that I really appreciate the addition of just good dead people to the ranks of the saints. It seems to make sainthood more accessible to the rest of us, and adds an interesting element to the whole Lent Madness adventure. I also love the kitsch and the humor, which still appears (to me at least) to respect the faith and courage of the person being considered.

      1. Ditto, kesmarn...also, I personally am drawn to & sustained by expansion, inclusion, and levity. Also: Team Jaggerstatter 2017 ( though I think Flo might get the W.)

      2. There is a vetting process for candidates in LM. They must be recognized somewhere in the church catholic. Some are official Roman Catholic-approved Saints (Stephen, Raymond Nonnatus, Scholastica, Mechtild of Magdeburg, & both Augustines) while others (Amelia Bloomer, Florence Nightingale) are recognized by The Episcopal Church, and then Sarah is in the holy scriptures of both Christianity and Judaism.

        Some of us are still waiting for Saint Fred of the Neighborhood (who already has at least one Episcopal parish with a commemorative stained glass window in his memory and an icon [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8SmyywU0AAKkz1?format=jpg&name=large]) to be eligible for LM.

        1. Stephen is my pick for the halo.
          But cudos to Madams Brock and Castellan! Thank you! For the foy and laughter❤

        2. I am also waiting for Saint Fred of the Neighborhood, recommended him last year and will do so again. He was such a tremendous force for good, and it was all based on a strong Christian faith. After his ordination in the Presbyterian church, he was told that his ministry was to be the continuation of his work with children's broadcasting.

        3. This icon is hanging in the office of a priest friend of mine.
          We may not live long enough to see it, but I'm quite sure Fred Rogers will someday be recognized in some future version of "Holy Women, Holy Men".

    4. I believe one of the qualifications is that the person has to be on a liturgical calendar. Amelia Bloomer is on the Episcopal calendar on July 20 along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Harriett Ross Tubman. Here is their Collect:

      O God, whose Spirit guideth us into all truth and maketh us free: Strengthen and sustain us as thou didst thy servants Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, and Harriet. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that worketh against the glorious liberty to which thou callest all thy children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    5. While there is a lot to what you say ("Hey, my person got voted off the island, and man, am I stewed!"), but I think we have to consider a few givens here. Like it or not, people are going to see their choices lose. Most votes are in the sixty to forty range, so there are forty per cent of each vote who feel robbed in some way. We all need to practice acceptance. I chose the right person, and so did a lot of others. Unfortunately, more folks who chose the right person chose the person I didn't pick. But to EACH of us, we all picked the "right" person. The fly in the ointment is that more people picked the other person. We must find ways of accepting that.
      Also, another given is that we hear and learn about saints we never knew existed. What a wonderful way of broadening our vistas! Prior to the voting a couple years ago, I had not heard of Frances Perkins. Now I know that the New Deal was her idea (she put forward an outline of all the programs FDR eventually instituted as conditions, the acceptance of which were needed before she would accept the post of Secretary of Labor. FDR knew she wa the only person with the know how to get things done, and pretty much had to agree to it all.)
      I didn't know about several others, and it is due to Lent Madness that my knowledge has been greatly expanded. It is a marvelous thing to learn of the many folks upon whose shoulders we are today standing.
      Yes, thanks to LM, I appreciate Newton's comment very much.

        1. "If I have been able to see clearly, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." (or very close thereto..doing this from memory!!)

  10. I love the kitsch posts. Goes along with one of our family rules, "If you can't laugh, you aren't doiong it right." Amelia for the win!

  11. I chose Nonotus over Amelia because of Call the Midwife, a show that demonstrates some genuine caring and concern for poor people and their health care, in an age where childbirth was still a scary thing. The nurse-midwives of that era were saints in their own right, flawed, perhaps, and very uman, but also loving and nurturing. If any part of that was due to Raymond's example, I am for him!

    1. I must agree with your choice of Nonotus. I too adore Call the Midwife....such a brave and faithful group of women carrying on the work of women's health issues. I only wish that today's advocates for fair and equal health might prevail.

  12. Finally, kitschy links! All future Kitsch round bloggers should follow Megan's example. I want that Call the Midwife mouse. Thanks to Megan, I don't have to painstakingly scour the internet to find it. As for the vote, I still stand by St. Raymond Nonnatus for his slave-freeing efforts at great cost (and of no benefit) to himself.

    Side Note: I read that book about Ms. Bloomer in my nannying days!

    1. I too voted for Nonnatus. His actions were more saintly in my view. Amelia was terrifically important to improving the lives of women and children and I applaud her. In this matchup, however, I go with Nonnatus.

      1. Every year on the occasion of my parish's paternal feast (Trinity Sunday) the Bishop comes to do confirmations et cetera . . . and there is usually a Bishop's Forum Q & A at 9 o'clock. This year I plan to ask just how one gets someone included in whatever it is Holy Women, Holy Men neé Lessor Feasts & Fasts has been renamed (Cloud of Witnesses?).

  13. Amelia reminds us of the power of using our voices in the service of bringing into being a just society. She is an inspiration to journalists in our time. Bloomers freely dancing in the breeze is a nice image.

  14. Did not like the bloomers I had to wear in Gym class in Junior High. For that and at least one other very good reason , I will vote for Raymond.

  15. Even the mention of St. Louis Cardinals makes me turn the other way.
    "Hey, Chicago, what do you say
    Cubs are gonna win today."

    Oops. Here's to Amelia.

  16. A very admirable job by both of our celebrity bloggers today! Such a tough decision, but I am going with Raymond, in part because his faithfulness and bravery were more costly, and because his surname helps me feel good that I took three years of HS Latin.

  17. I enjoy the kitsch round, but I respect the right of people to have their own personal sense of humor. It's a gift from God, to be cherished. To me, the items in the kitsch round are laughable--not the saints they purport to honor. I giggle at the lemonade flask or the icon phone cover because they show how our love for these saints can go a bit overboard at times, or in some cases how silly humans endeavor to extricate a few bucks from the pockets of other silly humans. Not every joke in Lent Madness makes me laugh, not every match- up makes me cry, but taking part always teaches me and connects me to worthwhile people, writing and written about. Now, where can I get me a felt mousie in a nurse outfit to match my "Flo for the Halo" tote bag?

    1. Well said & I love the humor & family quote "if you can't laugh, you're doing it wrong" So thanks SEC and thanks bloggers for your wit & humor--& thanks for the first thing in the morning laugh out loud,Megan!

  18. Wearing my scandalous bloomers from April Cornell (dot com) whilst I vote for the lady.
    Happy Friday!

  19. Next year let's see some fresh candidates to vote for! I don't mind if they are Saints or saints - just some fresh faces and stories!

  20. From the historian: Amelia's bloomers were actually very full pants with bands at the ankles, which were worn under a just-below-the-knee dress. She would have called them "Turkish Drawers." She favored them as "reform dress" and an attempt to free women from the restraining fashions of the day. When she (or any of the other early feminists who wore them) walked down the street in Bloomer Costume, dogs were set on her and eggs thrown--women shouldn't wear the pants!