Patron of Canonists and Lawyers
Born of a noble family in 1175, at the castle of Penafort in Catalonia, St. Raymond was allied to the King of Aragon. At the age of twenty he taught philosophy at Barcelona. Requiring no remuneration for his services, he endeavored to form the heart as well as the intellect of his students. At the age of thirty he went to Bologna to perfect himself in the study of Canon and Civil Law, and received the degree of Doctor. On his return to Barcelona in 1219, the Bishop made him canon, archdeacon, and vicar-general. A few years later, in 1222, he entered the Order of St. Dominic, eight months after the death of its holy founder.
The Saint labored zealously for the conversion of the Moors and the Jews, and in the composition of a treatise for the instruction of confessors. Pope Gregory IX summoned him to Rome, appointing him auditor at the apostolic palace, penitentiary, and confessor to himself. During this period he composed his work of Canon Law known as the “Five Decretals. “
On his return to his own country St. Raymond was elected general of the Dominican Order to succeed Blessed Jordan of Saxony, who had been the immediate successor of St. Dominic. After arranging and explaining the constitutions of the Order he resigned the office, and began again to apply himself to the exercises of an apostolic life. He died in 1275, at one hundred years of age and was canonized in 1608 by Pope Clement VIII.
PRAYER: God, You endowed Your Priest, St. Raymond, with the gift of showing mercy to sinners and prisoners. Help us by his intercession to be freed from slavery to sin and with clear consciences to practice those things that are pleasing to You. Amen.