Saint of the Week
St. Raymond of Pennafort (1175-1275)
Feast Day: January 7
Born in Spain, St. Raymond was a relative of the King of Aragon. From childhood he had a tender love and devotion to the Blessed Mother. He was educated at the cathedral school in Barcelona. He became a priest and a lawyer and joined the Dominicans in 1218. He was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Pope Gregory IX and assigned to collect all official letters of the popes since 1150. Raymond gathered and published five volumes, and helped write Church law.
He became the Master general of the Dominicans in 1238, reviewed the order's rule, and made sure everything was legally correct. He then resigned his position in 1240 to dedicate his life to parish work. The pope wanted to make Raymond an archbishop, but he refused, instead returning to Spain and the parish work he loved. His compassion helped many people return to God through the sacrament of Reconciliation.
St. Raymond was very humble and very close to God. He did much penance and was so good and kind that he won many sinners to God. With King James of Aragon and St. Peter Nolasco he founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. The brave religious of this Order devoted themselves to saving poor Christians captured by the Moors.
During his years in Rome, Raymond heard of the difficulties missionaries faced trying to reach non-Christians of Northern Africa and Spain. Raymond started a school to teach the language and culture of the people to be evangelized. With Saint Thomas Aquinas, he wrote a booklet to explain the truths of faith in a way nonbelievers could understand. His great influence on Church law led to his patronage of lawyers. St. Raymond was one hundred years old at the time of his death.
Born: 1175 @ Penafort, Catalonia, Spain
Died: 6 January 1275 @ Barcelona
Canonized: 1601 by Pope Clement VIII
Patronage: attorneys, barristers, canonists, lawyers, medical record librarians
"Look then on Jesus, the author and preserver of faith: in complete sinlessness he suffered, and at the hands of those who were his own, and was numbered among the wicked. As you drink the cup of the Lord Jesus (how glorious it is!), give thanks to the Lord, the giver of all blessings.
May the God of love and peace set your hearts at rest and speed you on your journey; may he meanwhile shelter you from disturbance by others in the hidden recesses of his love, until he brings you at last into that place of complete plenitude where you will repose for ever in the vision of peace, in the security of trust, and in the restful enjoyment of his riches."
--from a letter by Saint Raymond