Today Christians Honor St. Raymond of Penafort, Patron Saint of Attorneys

St. Raymond of Penafort

St. Raymond of Penafort (1175-1275) Image Courtesy: Canonically Speaking

(Franciscan Media) Since Raymond lived into his 100th year, he had an opportunity to do many things. As a member of the Spanish nobility, he possessed the resources and the education to get a good start in life.

By the time Raymond was 20, he was teaching Philosophy, in his early 30s, he earned a doctorate in both Canon and civil law and at 41 he became a Dominican.

Pope Gregory IX called Raymond to Rome to work for him and to be a Confessor and one of the things the Pope asked him to do, was to gather together all of the decrees of Pope’s and Councils that had been made in 80 years since a similar collection by Gratian the Roman Emperor (375-383)

Raymond compiled 5 books called the ‘Decretals’ they were looked upon as one of the best organized collections of Church law until the 1917 codification of Canon law.

Earlier Raymond had written for a confessors a book of cases ‘Summa de Casibus Poenitentiae’ more than simply a list of sins and penances, it discussed pertinent  doctrines and laws of the Church that pertained to the problem or case brought to the confessor.

At the age of 60, Raymond was appointed Archbishop of Tarragona a port city in Spain but he didn’t like the honor at all and ended up getting sick and resigning in two years.

Raymond didn’t get to enjoy his peace for long however because when he was 63 he was elected by his fellow Dominicans to be the head of the whole Order–the successor of St. Dominic (1170-1221) Raymond worked hard and visited on foot all of the Dominicans, recognized their constitutions and managed to put through a provision that a Master General be allowed to resign. When the new constitutions were accepted, Raymond then at age 65 resigned–he sill had 35 years to oppose heresy, work for the conversion of Moors in Spain and convinced St Thomas Aquinas, to write his work ‘Against the Gentiles.’

In Raymond’s 100th year, the Lord allowed him to retire.

More here on St. Raymond of Penafort from EWTN

Related: The Amazing St. Raymond of Penafort –Via: Are We There Yet?

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