Raymond of Penafort

Raymond Of Penafort (Saint), a Spanish Dominican, was born in 1175 at the chateau of Penafort. in Catalonia, and belonged to one of the noble families of Spain allied to the royal house of Aragon. He was educated at Barcelona, and made such progress that at the age of twenty he taught the liberal arts at that place. He went to perfect himself at the University of Bologna, where he received the title of doctor in civil and canonical law. Attracted by his reputation, which was still rising, Beranger, bishop of Barcelona, on his returning to his church from Rome, went to see him at Bologna, and succeeded in persuading him to return with him to Spain. He did not, however, content himself with the mere discharge of the duties of his canonicate and his archdeaconry in the Barcelona cathedral, but was very much occupied with all manner of good works. He finally felt persuaded to take the Dominican habit, April 1, 1222. His example was followed by several persons distinguished for their knowledge and birth. Pope Gregory IX called him to Rome, and employed him in 1228 in the collection of the Decretals: he wished even to raise him to the metropolitan see of Tarragona, but Raymond preferred the solitude of Barcelona to all the advantages which his friends had hopedl for him. Nominated general of his order in 1238, he gave up his charge two years later, and contributed much by his zeal and counsel to the establishment of the Order of Mercy. Peter Nolascus was one of his converts, and so were many other distinguished characters of that period. Indeed, his influence is said to have been so great that the expulsion of the Moors from Spain is principally attributed to him. Raymond wmas also made the spiritual director of the king of Aragon, and he persuaded his royal master James to favor the establishment of the Inquisition in his kingdom and in Languedoc, and the popes permitted him to provide for the offices of this tribunal. Pope Clement VIII canonized him in 1601. We have of his works a collection of Decretals, which forms the fifth volume of the canon law. This collection is in five books, and the author has joined several decrees of the councils to the constitutions of the popes: — a Summa on penitence and marriage, which he had printed many times: — an abridgment of this work, and divers other works which have not been printed, and which do not merit it. Raymond de Penafort died at Barcelona Jan. 6, 1275. He is commemorated Jan. 23. — Hoefer, Nouv.

Biog. Generale, s.v. See Butler, Lives of the Saints, i, 200 sq.; Mrs. Jameson, Legendary and Mythological Art (see Index).

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