lundi 7 janvier 2013

Saint RAYMOND de PEÑAFORT, dominicain et archevêque


Saint Raymond de Penyafor

Né près de Barcelone, dans le château familial de Villafranca de Penades, probablement vers 1175, Raymond de Penyafort était apparenté aux comtes de Barcelone et aux rois d'Aragon. Il étudia à l'école cathédrale de Barcelone où, à peine âgé de vingt ans, il enseigna la rhétorique et la logique. En 1210, il partit étudier le droit civil et le droit canonique à Bologne. En compagnie de Pierre Ruber, il fit la route à pied, par Arles et Turin ; ils s’arrêtèrent quelques jours à Briançon pour constater un miracle que venait d’opérer Notre-Dame de Delbeza qui rendit les yeux et les mains à un jeune homme mutilé par des brigands. Après avoir été reçu docteur (1216), il resta à Bologne où, pendant trois ans, il enseigna le droit canonique avec tant de succès que les Bolonais lui offrirent des appointements prélevés sur les ressources de la ville ; après avoir donné le dixième de son salaire au clergé de sa paroisse, il distribuait le reste aux pauvres, ne gardant pour lui que le strict nécessaire.

L'évêque de Barcelone, Bérenguer de Palou1, qui passait par Bologne, au retour d’un pèlerinage à Rome, entendit si fort chanter les louanges de Raymond de Penyafort qu'il le recruta pour le séminaire qu'il voulait fonder dans son diocèse, et l'emmena avec lui (1219). A Viterbe où résidait le pape Honorius III, ils rencontrèrent saint Dominique qui leur donna quelques uns de ses frères. Raymond de Penyafort fut nommé chanoine de la cathédrale de Barcelone, puis prévôt du chapitre, archidiacre, grand vicaire et official (1220) ; outre qu'il fit donner une grande solennité à l'Ascension, il travailla fort au soin des pauvres qu'il nommait ses créanciers.

Le Vendredi Saint 1222, il quittait le clergé séculier pour les Dominicains, sans perdre pour autant son influence sur l'évêque et le diocèse de Barcelone. Voyant que ses supérieurs ne le traitaient pas comme les autres novices, le frère Raymond de Penyafort demanda qu’on lui imposât une pénitence particulière pour les fautes commises pendant sa vie séculière ; c’est pour répondre à sa demande que le provincial lui ordonna d’écrire la « Summa de pænitentia », premier ouvrage du genre, qui rassemble les cas de conscience à l'usage des confesseurs.

Lorsque Pierre Nolasque2, ancien marchand, fonda l'Ordre de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie de la Merci pour la rédemption des captifs (1223)3, pour le rachat des prisonniers faits par les Musulmans, c'est Raymond de Penyafort qui, dans la cathédrale de Barcelone, en présence de l'évêque et du roi Jacques I° d'Aragon4, donna l'habit et le scapulaire aux premiers mercédaires ; il rédigera aussi la règle de ce nouvel ordre pour laquelle il obtiendra l'approbation du pape Grégoire IX (1235).

Quelques années plus tard (1229), le cardinal de Sainte-Sabine, Jean d'Abbeville5, fut envoyé comme légat en Espagne pour prêcher la Croisade6 contre les Maures, et mettre en application les décrets du quatrième concile du Latran7 ; il devait aussi déclarer nul le mariage de Jacques I° d’Aragon avec Eléonore de Castille. Le légat s'adjoignit Raymond de Penyafort qui le précéda dans toutes ses visites canoniques et prit part à tous les actes importants de la légation. Le cardinal de Sainte-Sabine en rendant compte de sa mission au Pape (Pérouse le 25 novembre 1229), mit en avant la coopération efficace de Raymond de Penyafort qui, le 28 novembre, fut chargé par Grégoire IX8 de prêcher dans les provinces d'Arles et de Narbonne la Croisade dirigée par Jacques I° d’Aragon pour chasser les Maures de Majorque.

L'année suivante, Grégoire IX l'appela à la cour pontificale et en fit son confesseur, puis son chapelain ; nommé pénitencier (1230), il fit instaurer l'Inquisition en Aragon, révisa les décrétales et en fit établir la nouvelle collection promulguée par la bulle « Rex pacificus » (5 septembre 1234). Après que le Pape eut accepté qu'il refusât l'archevêché de Tarragone pourvu qu'il en désignât lui-même le titulaire (1234), exténué de fatigue et brisé de maladie, Raymond de Penyafort quitta Rome (avril 1236) pour rentrer en Espagne où il arriva par mer au début de l’été.

Lorsque Raymond de Penyafort débarqua au port catalan de Zossa, on le conduisit près d’un malade appelé Barcelon du Fare ; le pauvre homme qui était à toute extrémité, avait perdu l’usage de ses sens, et ses parents se morfondait qu’il ne pût se confesser avant de mourir. Raymond de Penyafort pria longtemps près de l’agonisant puis lui demanda s’il voulait se confesser, mais il n’obtint aucune réponse. Il fit alors mettre en prière tous ceux qui se trouvaient là. Au bout d’une longue prière collective, Raymond de Penyafort reposa la question ; cette fois, le malade parut sortir d’un profond sommeil et dit : « Mais oui, je veux me confesser et j’en ai un vif désir. » Raymond de Penyafort fit sortir les assistants, entendit le malade qui, l’absolution dite, rendit paisiblement l’âme.

Le 15 octobre, il participa aux Cortès où Jacques I° d’Aragon prépara l’expédition contre le royaume maure de Valence. Le 5 février 1537, Grégoire IX le chargea d’absoudre Jacques I° d'Aragon de l’excommunication qu’il avait encourue pour avoir quelque peu fait malmener à Huesca l'évêque élu de Saragosse qui s’en allait se faire sacrer à Tarragone. Il dut quitter un moment Barcelone puisqu’on le voit exercer les fonctions de pénitencier en 1237.

Après la mort en mer du bienheureux Jourdain de Saxe9 (12 février 1237), le chapitre général de son Ordre qui se réunit à Bologne à la Pentecôte 1238, l'élit Raymond de Penyafort comme maître général bien qu’il fût resté à Barcelone. Il résista aussi longtemps que possible à son élection puis finit par l’accepter, convaincu par les avis pressants de plusieurs provinciaux venus à Barcelonne, dont celui de France, Hugues de Saint-Cher10.

Soucieux de conserver la régulière observance, dès le chapitre général de Paris (1239), Raymond de Penyafort fit établir de nouvelles constitutions (approuvées en 1240, confirmées en 1241) qui restèrent en usage jusqu'en 1924. Il demanda à saint Thomas d'Aquin de rédiger la « Somme contre les gentils. »

Raymond de Penyafort se démit de sa charge de maître général (1240) et retourna dans son couvent de Barcelone d'où il partit souvent pour de nombreuses prédications et pour conseiller le roi Jacques I° d'Aragon. Il avait pour Jacques I° d’Aragon une très forte affection mais il était parfaitement lucide sur les faiblesses du Roi qu’il n’excusait pas. Vers la fin du règne de Jacques I°, Raymond de Penyafort accompagna le roi dans l'île de Majorque qu’il fallait remettre en ordre. Or, après qu’il eut débarqué, Raymond de Penyafort s’aperçu que le roi entrenait des relations coupables avec une dame de la cour ; comme, malgré ses objurgations, Jacques I° ne se décidait pas à rompre, le dominicain résolut de retourner à Barcelone, ce que voulut empêcher le roi qui fit défense à tout vaisseau de l’embarquer. Aucun marin n’ayant osé désobéir au roi, Raymond de Penyafort s'avança sur les rochers que baigne la mer, et dit au frère qui l’accompagnait : « Puisque les hommes n’ont point de bateau à nous offrir, tu va voir comment Dieu va nous en fabriquer un » ; ce disant, il étendit sur l'eau son manteau, et en redressa un coin avec son bâton pour en faire une voile ; il monta sur le manteau qui surnagea et s'avança rapide sous les yeux stupéfaits du compagnon qui, demeuré timidement sur le bord, le vit disparaître à l'horizon. Ce fut assez pour que Jacques I° cessa ses désordres.

Raymond de Penyafort fit beaucoup l’apostolat auprès des Juifs et des Musulmans ; il fut aussi un adversaire efficace de l’hérésie en Catalogne et en Espagne, obtenant que Jacques I° introduisît l’Inquisition en ses Etats. Pour former les missionnaires, il fonda quelques écoles de langues orientales comme l'école arabe de Tunis (1245) et l'école d'hébreu de Murcie (1266).

Outre la « Summa de pænitentia », Raymond de Penyafort a laissé une œuvre écrite considérable dont la plupart des ouvrages servirent longtemps de référence chez les Dominicains et à l’Université de Paris. Il s’agit moins de traités théoriques que de réponses pratiques à des questions concrètes ; Raymond de Penyafort que ses contemporains ont appelé le « Doctor humanus », donne des jugements et des conseils où il se montre plus soucieux du bien des pénitents que du juste équilibre d'un traité de Droit canon ; il est toujours nuancé, désireux de sauvegarder la bonne foi des autres, surtout des simples, alors qu'on pourrait les juger proches des courants hétérodoxes. Son mérite principal est de réaliser un ensemble équilibré de divers courants de pensée quant au renouveau de la vie chrétienne de son temps, singulièrement à propos de la formation des ministres sacrés en matière de vie morale, de doctrine et de prédication.

Raymond de Penyafort qui, depuis sa démission de la maîtrise générale des Dominicains, s’était chaque jour préparé à la mort, accueillit avec joie sa dernière maladie. Entouré des rois d'Aragon et de Castille, il mourut à Barcelone le 6 janvier 1275, jour de l’Epiphanie, sur les dix heures du matin. En 1279, le concile de Tarragone demanda au pape Nicolas IV la canonisation de Raymond de Penyafort pour sa « sainteté au service de la justice », mais il ne fut béatifié que par Paul III, en 1542, et canonisé par Clément VIII, le 29 avril 1601.

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1 Berenguer de Palou fut évêque de Barcelone, de 1212 à sa mort, le 23 août 1241.

2 Saint Pierre Nolasque, issu de la noble famille des Nolasco, apparenté par sa mère aux comtes de Toulouse et aux rois d’Aragon, naquit vers 1189 au mas des Saintes-Puelles (diocèse de Saint-Papoul). Après avoir renoncé au mariage pour se consacrer à Dieu, il rejoignit les armées de Simon de Montfort. A la bataille de Muret où le roi Pierre d’Aragon fut tué, son fils, Jacques, âgé de six ans, fut fait prisonnier ; Simon de Monfort confia l’enfant à Pierre Nolasque, puis les envoya tous deux en Espagne. Loin de la cour, Pierre Nolasque enseigna son royal élève et lui montra l’exemple de sa piété et de sa charité.

3 Dans la nuit du 1er août 1218, fête de Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens, la vierge Marie, accompagnée d’anges et de saints, apparut à Pierre Nolasque : « Mon fils, je suis la Mère du Fils de Dieu qui, pour le salut et la liberté du genre humain, répandit tout son sang en souffrant la mort cruelle de la Croix ; je viens ici chercher des hommes qui veuillent, à l’exemple de mon Fils, donner leur vie pour le salut et la liberté de leurs frères captifs. C’est un sacrifice qui lui sera très agréable. Je désire donc que l’on fonde en mon honneur un Ordre dont les religieux, avec une foi vive et une vraie charité, rachètent les esclaves chrétiens de la puissance et de la tyrannie des Turcs, se donnant même en gage, s’il est nécessaire, pour ceux qu’ils ne pourront racheter autrement. Telle est, mon fils, ma volonté ; car, lorsque dans l’oraison tu me priais avec des larmes de porter remède à leurs souffrances, je présentais tes vœux à mon Fils qui, pour ta consolation et pour l’établissement de cet Ordre sous mon nom, m’a envoyée du ciel vers toi. » Pierre répondit : « Je crois d’une foi vive que vous êtes la Mère du Dieu vivant et que vous êtes venue en ce monde pour le soulagement des pauvres chrétiens qui souffrent dans une barbare servitude. Mais que suis-je, moi, pour accomplir une œuvre si difficile au milieu des ennemis de votre divin Fils et pour tirer ses enfants de leurs cruelles mains ? » Notre-Dame lui dit : « Ne crains rien, Pierre, je t’assisterai dans toute cette affaire et, pour que tu aies foi en ma parole, tu verras bientôt l’exécution de ce que je t’ai annoncé et mes fils et mes filles de cet Ordre se glorifieront de porter des habits blancs comme ceux dont tu me vois revêtue. » Pierre Nolasque, après avoir passé la nuit en prière, rejoignit Raymond de Penyafort qui lui dit : « J’ai eu cette nuit la même vision que vous : j’ai été aussi favorisé de la visite de la Reine des anges et j’ai entendu de sa bouche l’ordre qu’elle me donnait de travailler de toutes mes forces à l’établissement de cette religion et d’encourager dans mes sermons les catholiques fidèles à venir en aide à une œuvre de charité si parfaite. C’est pour remercier Dieu et la très sainte Vierge que j’étais venu si matin à la cathédrale. » Le Roi entra alors dans la cathédrale et leur dit : « La glorieuse Reine des anges m’est apparue cette nuit, avec une beauté et une majesté incomparables, m’ordonnant d’instituer, pour la rédemption des captifs, un Ordre qui porterait le nom de Sainte-Marie de la Merci ou de la Miséricorde ; et, comme je connais en toi, Pierre Nolasque, un grand désir de racheter les esclaves, c’est toi que je charge de l’exécution de cette œuvre. Pour toi, Raymond, dont je sais la vertu et la science, tu seras le soutien de l’Ordre par tes prédications. »

4 Jacques I° d’Aragon, dit le Conquérant, fils de Pierre II, né à Montpellier en 1206, est l’enfant prisonnier remis par Simon de Montfort à Pierre Nolasque. Allié au roi de Castille dont il épouse la fille (1221), il conquiert une partie du royaume musulman de Valence (1225) qu’il prendra tout entier (1253). Il conquiert les Baléares (1229-1235). Au profit du comte Thibault de Champagne, il renonce au royaume de Navarre que lui a laissé Sanche VII. Au traité de Corbeil (1256), saint Louis renonce en sa faveur aux comtés de Barcelone et de Roussillon ainsi qu’à Montpellier. En 1262, il partage ses Etats entre ses deux fils : Pierre a l’Aragon, la Catalogne et Valence ; Jacques a Majorque, le Roussillon, la Cerdagne et Montpellier. Il meurt en 1276.

5 Jean Halgrin d'Abbeville, d’abord maître régent à la faculté de théologie de Paris, fut archevêque de Besançon (1225), patriarche latin de Constantinople (1226), cardinal-évêque de Sabine (1227). Il fut légat en Espagne (1228-1229) puis auprès de l’empereur Frédéric II (1230-1234). Il mourut en 1237.

6 Le décret sur la Croisade concluait le IV° concile du Latran qui ordonnait sa prédication dans toute la chrétienté ; il étendait le bénéfice de l'indulgence plénière à ceux qui contribuaient à la construction des navires croisés, dans les mêmes conditions que pour ceux qui allaient combattre en Terre Sainte. Le décret conciliaire frappa d'un impôt du vingtième les revenus ecclésiastiques et du dixième les biens du pape et des cardinaux, pendant trois ans. L'excommunication était portée contre tous ceux qui commerçaient avec les infidèles. Ainsi le décret se proposait, non seulement de susciter une nouvelle croisade (et ce sera la cinquième), mais en outre de mettre l'idéal de la croisade à la portée de tout l'Occident chrétien en permettant à ceux qui ne pouvaient pas partir de bénéficier de tous ses avantages spirituels. C'était une manière d'associer aux combattants toute la grande masse des chrétiens restée sur place : il leur suffisait d'aider financièrement à l'organisation de la croisade, de regretter leurs fautes et de s'en confesser, pour bénéficier des indulgences réservées jusqu'alors aux croisés.

7 Le IV° concile du Latran qui fut réuni par Innocent III les 11, 20 et 30 novembre 1215, laissa soixante-dix canons disciplinaires et dogmatiques et un décret sur la Croisade. Comme le premier but de ce concile était de condamner l’hérésie cathare et d’organiser sa répression, il établit l’Inquisition (canon 3), dépouilla le comte de Toulouse et donna à la Croisade contre les hérétiques les mêmes privilèges qu’à celle contre les Musulmans. Le canon 21 de Latran IV qui est toujours en vigueur, oblige tous les fidèles parvenus à l’âge de raison à se confesser une fois par an et à communier à Pâques (décret utriusque sexus).

8 Grégoire IX, élu le 19 mars 1227, mourut le 22 août 1241.

9 Jourdain de Saxe fut le premier successeur de saint Dominique. Né vers 1185, à Burgberg (Westphalie), il fut à Paris maître ès arts puis bachelier en théologie. A cette activité scolaire se rattachent son Commentaire in Priscianum minorem et ses Postilles sur l'Apocalypse. Entré en relation avec saint Dominique, il prit l'habit des Frères prêcheurs à Saint-Jacques (Paris), le 12 février 1220. Deux mois après, son couvent le délégua au premier chapitre général de l'Ordre, à Bologne. En 1221, lorsque saint Dominique fit organiser les provinces dominicaines, Jourdain fut choisi comme premier provincial de Lombardie ; le 22 mai 1222, au chapitre général de Paris, il fut élu à la succession de saint Dominique. Remarquable directeur spirituel et grand prédicateur, Jourdain était particulièrement apprécié des étudiants qu’il rencontrait au fur et à mesure de ses perpétuels voyages entre les chapitres généraux qui, à la Pentecôte, le ramenaient régulièrement une année à Paris, une année à Bologne. Soucieux que l'Ordre des Prêcheurs reste fidèle aux volontés du fondateur Jourdain de Saxe entreprit de relater les conditions dans lesquelles saint Dominique conçut l'idée d'un Ordre « qui s'appellerait et serait réellement de Prêcheurs », et selon quelles étapes il le réalisa. Après la canonisation de Dominique (3 juillet 1234), il raconta en outre, les événements de la solennelle translation du corps, dont il fut témoin à Bologne. Au retour d’un voyage en Terre Sainte, Jourdain de Saxe périt (12 février 1237), dans un naufrage au large des côtes syriennes ; son corps rejeté par la mer fut enterré au couvent dominicain de Saint-Jean-d’Acre.

10 Hugues de Saint-Cher, né à Saint-Cher (Isère) à la fin du XII° siècle, d’abord élève à l’abbaye de Saint-Cher, fit à Paris des études de philosophie, de théologie et de droit, puis fut un professeur de droit renommé. Il reçut l’habit dominicain au couvent parisien Saint-Jacques (22 février 1226), et fut nommé provincial de France pour trois ans (1227-1230), après quoi il termina ses études de théologie, et se consacra à l’enseignement. Régent de l’école Saint-Jacques puis prieur du couvent, il fut de nouveau provincial en 1238. Après la démission de Raymond de Penyafort et avant l’élection de Jean le Teutonique (20 mai 1241), Hugues de Saint-Cher, nommé vicaire général, gouverna l’ordre dominicain. Honoré de la confiance d’Innocent IV pour ses talents administratifs, il fut créé cardinal de Sainte-Sabine (28 mai 1244). Il fut fort lié au gouvernement d’Innocent IV, singulièrement pendant le concile de Lyon (1245) ; il fit beaucoup pour l’institution de la Fête-Dieu pendant qu’il était légat en Allemagne (1250-1253). Alexandre IV et Urbain IV le gardèrent près d’eux. Il mourut à Orvieto le 19 mars 1263 ; son corps fut porté dans l’église des Dominicains de Lyon.



Saint Raymond vint au monde l'an 1175, au château de Penyafort (Peñafort) en Espagne. Ce Catalan est professeur de philosophie à l'Université de Barcelone et décide de se rendre à Bologne, la plus grande Université de Droit de son temps, pour y étudier puis enseigner le droit civil et canonique.

Le Pape Grégoire IX qui savait détecter les gens intelligents, lui confie la rédaction d'une "Somme des cas pénitentiaux", puis celle des "Décrétales" qui serviront de Code de Droit canonique à l'Eglise Catholique romaine jusqu'en 1917. Il rencontre alors saint Dominique de passage à Bologne et, dès son retour à Barcelone, il entre dans l'Ordre des Dominicains à 47 ans. Il en deviendra le Maître Général et encourage l'apostolat de ses frères auprès des Juifs et des Musulmans qui sont en Espagne.

Préoccupé par l'Islam, il encourage saint Thomas d'Aquin à écrire "la Somme contre les Gentils" et fonde simultanément l'Ordre de Notre-Dame de la Merci pour la Libération des chrétiens captifs des Sarrasins. C'est un esprit indépendant, et l'on raconte même que le roi ayant voulut le retenir dans l'île de Majorque, saint Raymond étendra son manteau sur la mer et la traversera ainsi jusqu'à Barcelone.

Prétextant son grand âge, il demande à être relevé de la charge de Maître de l'Ordre, ce qui ne l'empêchera pas de mourir centenaire. Il employa les trente-cinq dernières années de sa vie à se préparer plus spécialement à la mort.



Leçons des Matines avant 1960

AU DEUXIÈME NOCTURNE.

Quatrième leçon. Le bienheureux Raymond, né à Barcelone, de la noble maison de Pegnafort, fut, encore enfant, instruit des éléments de la religion chrétienne, et dès lors il faisait présager quelque chose de grand par ses rares qualités d’esprit et de corps. Fort jeune il professa les humanités dans sa patrie, puis se rendit à Bologne, où il s’appliqua avec zèle aux devoirs de la piété et à l’étude du droit canonique et civil ; il y reçut le bonnet de Docteur, et y expliqua les saints Canons à l’admiration de tous. La réputation de ses vertus se répandant au loin, Bérenger, Évêque de Barcelone, qui retournait de Rome à son Église, passa par Bologne pour le voir, et obtint enfin à force de prières qu’il revînt avec lui dans sa patrie. Bientôt Raymond fut honoré de la dignité de chanoine et de prévôt de la même Église, où il surpassa le peuple et tout le clergé par l’éclat de son intégrité, de sa modestie, de sa doctrine, et par la douceur de ses mœurs. Il accrut toujours de toutes ses forces l’honneur et le culte de la Vierge Mère de Dieu, qu’il vénérait avec une piété et une affection singulières.

Cinquième leçon. A l’âge d’environ quarante-cinq ans, il fit profession solennelle dans l’Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs ; alors, comme un nouveau soldat, il s’exerça dans tous les genres de vertus, mais surtout dans la charité pour les indigents, principalement envers ceux que les infidèles retenaient captifs. Ce fut sur son conseil que saint Pierre Nolasque, dont il était le confesseur, consacra ses biens à cette œuvre de pitié ; la bienheureuse Vierge, apparaissant à Pierre ainsi qu’au bienheureux Raymond et à Jacques Ier, roi d’Aragon leur dit qu’il serait très agréable à elle et à son Fils unique, qu’on instituât en son honneur un Ordre de religieux à qui incomberait le soin de délivrer les captifs de la tyrannie des infidèles. C’est pourquoi, après en avoir conféré entre eux, ils fondèrent l’Ordre de Notre-Dame de la Merci de la Rédemption des captifs, pour lequel Raymond statua certaines règles de vie, très bien appropriées au but de cet institut. Quelques années après, il obtint de Grégoire IX l’approbation de ces lois, et il créa premier Général de l’Ordre, saint Pierre Nolasque, auquel il avait donné l’habit de ses propres mains.

Sixième leçon. Le même Grégoire IX l’appela à Rome, et ce Pontife le choisit pour son chapelain, son pénitencier et son confesseur ; ce fut par son ordre que Raymond rassembla en un volume appelé Décrétales, les décrets des Pontifes romains disséminés dans les Actes de divers conciles et dans différentes épîtres. Il refusa constamment avec fermeté l’archevêché de Tarragone qui lui était offert par le Pontife lui-même, et se démit spontanément du généralat de l’Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs, qu’il avait gouverné très saintement pendant deux années. Il détermina Jacques, roi d’Aragon, à établir dans ses états le saint office de l’Inquisition. Il fit beaucoup de miracles, parmi lesquels le plus éclatant fut que, voulant revenir de l’île Majorque à Barcelone, il étendit son manteau sur les eaux, fit cent soixante milles de chemin en six heures, et entra dans son monastère, bien que les portes en fussent closes Enfin presque centenaire, plein de vertus et de mérites, il s’endormit dans le Seigneur, l’an du salut mil deux cent soixante-quinze. Clément VIII l’a mis au nombre des Saints.

Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

De nombreux essaim de Martyrs qui fait la garde autour de l’Emmanuel, jusqu’au jour de sa Présentation au Temple, entr’ouvre de temps en temps ses rangs glorieux pour donner place aux Confesseurs que la divine Sagesse a fait briller sur le Cycle dans cette saison. Les Martyrs y sont les plus nombreux ; mais la gloire des Confesseurs y est noblement représentée. Après Hilaire, Paul, Maur et Antoine, resplendit aujourd’hui Raymond de Pegnafort, l’une des gloires de l’Ordre de saint Dominique et de l’Église, au XIIIe siècle.

Selon la parole des Prophètes, le Messie est venu pour être notre Législateur ; il est lui-même la Loi. Sa parole sera la règle des hommes, et il laissera à son Église le pouvoir de la législation, afin qu’elle puisse conduire les peuples dans la sainteté et dans la justice, jusqu’à l’éternité. La sagesse de l’Emmanuel préside à la discipline canonique, comme sa vérité à l’enseignement de la foi. Mais l’Église, dans la compilation et la disposition de ses lois, emprunte le secours des hommes qui lui semblent joindre à un plus haut degré la science du Droit et l’intégrité de la morale.

Saint Raymond de Pegnafort a l’honneur d’avoir tenu la plume pour la rédaction du code canonique qui régit aujourd’hui l’Église. Ce fut lui qui, en 1234, compila, par ordre de Grégoire IX, les cinq livres des Décrétales ; et son nom est associé, pour jamais, à la gloire de cette œuvre qui forme encore la base de la discipline actuelle.

Disciple de Celui qui est descendu du ciel dans le sein d’une Vierge pour sauver les pécheurs, en les appelant au pardon, Raymond a mérité d’être appelé par l’Église l’insigne Ministre du Sacrement de Pénitence. Il est le premier qui ait recueilli, en corps de doctrine, les maximes de la morale chrétienne, qui servent à déterminer les devoirs du confesseur à l’égard des pécheurs qui viennent lui déposer leurs péchés. La Somme des Cas Pénitentiaux a ouvert la série de ces importants travaux, dans lesquels d’habiles et vertueux docteurs se sont appliqués à peser les droits de la loi et les obligations de l’homme, afin d’instruire le prêtre dans l’art de discerner , comme parle l’Écriture, la lèpre d’avec la lèpre [1].

Enfin, lorsque la glorieuse Mère de Dieu, qui est aussi la Mère des hommes, suscita pour opérer la Rédemption des captifs le généreux Pierre Nolasque, que nous verrons arriver, sous quelques jours, au berceau du Rédempteur, Raymond fut l’instrument puissant de ce grand œuvre de miséricorde ; et ce n’est pas en vain que l’Ordre de la Merci le considère comme l’un de ses fondateurs, et que tant de milliers de captifs, délivrés de la servitude musulmane, l’ont honoré comme l’un des principaux auteurs de leur liberté.

Nous empruntons l’Hymne suivante au Bréviaire des Frères Prêcheurs.

HYMNE.

Prélats, Princes, peuples de la terre, célébrez le nom illustre de Raymond, de cet homme qui eut à cœur le salut éternel de tous.

Ce qu’offre de plus admirable une piété profonde apparaît dans la pureté sans tache de ses mœurs ; la lumière de toutes les vertus éclate en sa personne.

D’une main habile et studieuse, il recueille les Décrets épars des Souverains Pontifes, et les sentences du Droit antique dignes d’être conservées.

Sous ses pas, les flots inconstants deviennent solides ; il parcourt, sans navire, un espace immense : son manteau et son bâton sont la barque sur laquelle il traverse la mer.

Donnez-nous, ô Dieu, la pureté des mœurs ; donnez-nous de passer, sans désastre, le cours de notre vie ; donnez-nous de toucher le port de la vie éternelle.

Amen.

Dispensateur fidèle du Mystère de la réconciliation, vous avez puisé, au sein du Dieu incarné, cette charité qui a fait de votre cœur l’asile des pécheurs. Vous avez aimé les hommes ; et les besoins de leurs corps, aussi bien que ceux de leurs âmes, ont été l’objet de votre sollicitude. Éclairé des rayons du Soleil de justice, vous nous avez aidés à discerner le bien du mal, en nous donnant des règles pour apprécier les plaies de nos âmes. Rome a admiré votre science des lois ; elle se fait gloire d’avoir reçu de vos mains le Code sacré qui régit les Églises.

Réveillez dans nos cœurs, ô Raymond, cette componction sincère qui est la condition du pardon dans le Sacrement de Pénitence. Faites-nous comprendre la gravité du péché mortel qui sépare de Dieu pour l’éternité, et les dangers du péché véniel qui dispose l’âme tiède au péché mortel. Obtenez-nous des hommes pleins de charité et de science pour exercer ce sublime ministère qui guérit les âmes. Défendez-les du double écueil d’un rigorisme désespérant et d’une mollesse perfide. Ranimez chez nous la vraie science du Droit ecclésiastique, sans laquelle la maison du Seigneur deviendrait bientôt le séjour du désordre et de l’anarchie. Vous dont le cœur fut si tendre envers les captifs, consolez tous ceux qui languissent dans les chaînes ou dans l’exil ; préparez leur délivrance ; mais affranchissez-nous tous des liens du péché, qui retiennent trop souvent les âmes de ceux-là mêmes dont le corps est libre.

Vous avez été, ô Raymond, le confident du cœur de notre miséricordieuse Reine Marie ; elle vous a associé à son œuvre du rachat des captifs. Vous êtes puissant sur ce Cœur, qui est notre espérance après celui de Jésus. Présentez-lui nos hommages. Demandez pour nous à cette incomparable Mère de Dieu la grâce d’aimer toujours le céleste Enfant qu’elle tient dans ses bras. Qu’elle daigne aussi, par vos prières, être notre étoile sur cette mer du monde, plus orageuse que celle dont vous avez bravé les flots sur votre manteau miraculeux.

Souvenez-vous aussi de l’Espagne, votre patrie, au sein de laquelle vous avez opéré tant d’œuvres saintes. Longtemps son illustre Église fut dans le deuil d’avoir perdu les Ordres religieux qui faisaient sa force et sa splendeur ; une hospitalité généreuse a commencé de réparer ces maux : que toute entrave disparaisse enfin. Protégez l’Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs, dont vous avez honoré l’habit et la règle. Vous l’avez gouverné avec sagesse sur la terre ; aimez-le toujours paternellement dans le ciel. Qu’il répare ses pertes ; qu’il refleurisse dans toute l’Église, et qu’il produise, comme aux jours anciens, ces fruits de sainteté et de science qui en ont fait une des principales gloires de l’Église de Jésus-Christ.

[1] Deuter. XVII, 8.

Bhx Cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

La fête de cet insigne canoniste (+ 6 janvier 1275), chapelain et pénitencier de Grégoire IX, remonte seulement à Clément X. La messe est celle du Commun des confesseurs non pontifes, mais la première collecte, composée par le pape Clément VIII, est propre et fait allusion tant à la charge occupée par le saint dans la Curie pontificale, qu’à son prodigieux voyage, alors que, comme le rapportent quelques auteurs, il alla des îles Baléares à Barcelone, se servant, en guise de navire, de son manteau étendu sur les eaux de la mer.

L’introït est le même que pour la fête de saint Sabbas le 5 décembre.

La collecte n’observe pas les lois du cursus, mais l’auteur, tout préoccupé, comme les modernes en général, de mettre en évidence les particularités de l’histoire de son héros, cherche à y arriver avec quelque habileté et non sans élégance. Le fruit que nous devons aujourd’hui demander par, l’intercession du saint Dominicain, pénitencier du rigide Grégoire IX, est la contrition et une digne pénitence. Voilà le seul manteau que nous puissions jeter sur la mer de ce monde, afin d’aborder au port de l’éternité bienheureuse : « O Dieu qui avez choisi comme insigne ministre du sacrement de Pénitence le bienheureux Raymond, et qui l’avez soutenu d’une façon admirable sur les ondes de la mer ; accordez-nous, grâce à son intercession, de faire de dignes fruits de pénitence, et d’arriver à atteindre le port du salut éternel. Par notre Seigneur, etc. »

La lecture est tirée de l’Ecclésiastique (XXXI, 8-11) quoique à Rome tous les livres sapientiaux soient indiqués sous la dénomination générale de « Livre de la Sagesse ». La péricope désignée pour ce jour loue le riche qui n’a pas trouvé d’obstacle dans ses richesses, lesquelles, trop souvent, sont pour beaucoup une pierre d’achoppement ; au contraire, il s’en est servi pour faire le bien. Celui-ci a amassé les véritables richesses, non pas dans des coffres-forts, mais près du Seigneur.

Le répons et le verset alléluiatique sont comme le 3 décembre, pour la fête du grand saint François Xavier. Après la Septuagésime, le psaume-trait est identique à celui assigné à la messe de saint Paul ermite le 15 janvier.

La lecture évangélique est la même que pour la fête de saint Antoine, le 17 janvier.

Le verset pour l’offertoire est celui assigné au 3 décembre.

La secrète est la suivante : « Nous offrons à votre gloire, Seigneur, ces oblations en mémoire de vos saints ; pleins d’espérance que le divin Sacrifice non seulement éloignera de nous les maux qui maintenant nous accablent, mais nous défendra aussi de ceux qui pourraient nous nuire à l’avenir. » : Cette collecte a une saveur tout à fait classique. Les maux présents sont les conséquences, ou, comme le disait saint Paul, les stipendia peccati ; les maux futurs ne sont pas simplement les infortunes temporelles, mais surtout les tentations et les chutes dans le péché.

Le verset chanté durant la communion du peuple est comme pour le 3 décembre.

La collecte eucharistique est identique à celle de la fête de sainte Agnès, le 21 courant. Le nom de saint Raymond est inséparablement uni aux cinq livres des Décrétales qu’il compila par ordre de Grégoire IX. Implorons de lui un grand zèle pour la discipline ecclésiastique, un grand amour et une abnégation sans limite, quand il s’agit de servir la sainte Église.



Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique

De dignes fruits de pénitence.

Saint Raymond. — Jour de mort : 7 janvier 1275. Tombeau : à Barcelone (Espagne). Image : On le représente en dominicain, debout sur son manteau qui le porte sur la mer. Sa vie : Raymond fut un canoniste remarquable qui, par sa codification et sa rédaction des décrétales de Grégoire IX, une collection de décisions ecclésiastiques, rendit de grands services. A l’âge de 45 ans, il entra chez les dominicains. Il travailla à la fondation de l’Ordre de Notre-Dame de la Merci pour le rachat des captifs et il en rédigea la règle. Il avait le don des miracles. L’un des plus célèbres fut celui-ci : Pour revenir des îles Baléares à Barcelone, il étendit son manteau sur la mer et parcourut 160 milles en six heures, puis il entra dans son couvent malgré les portes fermées. Il mourut, âgé de près de cent ans, en 1275. Ce saint excellait dans le ministère de la confession et est considéré comme le patron des confesseurs.

La messe (Os justi). — C’est la première messe du commun des confesseurs, la plus typique pour ce groupe de saints.

L’image dominante, pendant les saints mystères, est la parabole du serviteur vigilant qui, « les reins ceints, et une lampe allumée à la main, attend le Seigneur » à son retour. Telle fut la vie de notre saint. Dans la nuit de la vie terrestre, il était toujours prêt au voyage et le flambeau de son amour de Dieu brillait toujours ; sa vie était une attente du Seigneur qui doit revenir. Au moment de la mort, le Seigneur a « frappé à la porte » et il lui a « ouvert immédiatement », « le Seigneur l’a trouvé veillant », il l’a emmené au festin céleste où il le sert lui-même. Or cet Évangile s’applique à nous aussi. Au Saint-Sacrifice, il se réalise mystiquement. Le Seigneur frappe à la porte, nous lui ouvrons, il nous invite au festin des noces « transiens ministrabit — il passe et nous sert ».

C’est la meilleure expression de l’Eucharistie : le Christ passe, ce n’est pas encore la « jouissance éternelle de sa divinité » dans le ciel. Notre tâche est de « veiller » avec le saint, de ceindre nos reins et d’avoir un flambeau allumé. Car le Seigneur nous fait déjà participer à l’élévation du saint au-dessus de tous ses biens. On voit encore ici quelle forte impression fait l’antienne de la communion, quand on la chante au moment où l’on s’approche de la sainte Table, « quand le Seigneur vient ».

L’oraison. Comme l’Église sait bien utiliser la vie des saints pour notre instruction morale ! La collecte d’aujourd’hui (composée par le pape Clément VIII) le montre parfaitement (on sait que la plupart des oraisons sont composées de trois parties : l’invocation, le motif de la prière tiré de la fête, la prière proprement dite). Le motif fait ressortir deux traits de la vie du saint : son zèle pour les confessions et sa marche sur les flots de la mer. Ces motifs déterminent les deux prières suivantes : a) que nous « fassions de dignes fruits de pénitence » et b) que nous parvenions au port du salut éternel. Si saint Raymond est le patron des confesseurs, il peut nous obtenir la grâce de bien user du sacrement de Pénitence. La collecte emploie les paroles de saint Jean-Baptiste dans l’Évangile : « faites de dignes fruits de pénitence » (conversion). La pénitence est, dans ce passage, comparée à un arbre dont on reconnaît la bonté à ses fruits, ces dignes fruits sont la persévérance dans la conversion. Combien de fois, hélas, avons-nous fait nous-mêmes l’expérience que la conversion ne dure que peu de temps ! Ce n’étaient pas de dignes fruits. Après demain (25 janvier) l’Église nous donnera un exemple classique, en nous montrant comment saint Paul « fit de dignes fruits de pénitence ». La seconde demande est enveloppée dans un beau symbole que la liturgie utilise volontiers : que la barque de notre vie malgré les tempêtes et les vagues, parvienne heureusement au port de l’éternité. Pour que se réalisent ces deux prières, que la sainte Eucharistie nous donne grâce et force.

SOURCE : http://www.introibo.fr/23-01-St-Raymond-de-Pegnafort

Saint Raymond de Pennafort

Dominicain, Archevêque

(1175-1275)

Saint Raymond vint au monde l'an 1175, au château de Pennafort, en Espagne, et brilla non moins par sa vaste science que par ses vertus; il se fit même, dans l'enseignement du droit ecclésiastique, une réputation extraordinaire. Chargé par le souverain Pontife des plus hautes missions apostoliques et scientifiques, il dépassa partout les espérances qu'on avait conçues de lui.

Raymond étant entré dans l'Ordre de Saint-Dominique peu après la mort du saint fondateur; il devint général de cet Ordre. Dieu confirma par des miracles ses éclatantes vertus.

Dans une nécessité pressante, il fit cinquante-trois lieues marines sur l'Océan, n'ayant pour navire que son manteau. Appelant Dieu à son aide, il étendit, en effet, son manteau sur les flots, prit son bourdon à la main, fit le signe de la Croix, posa résolument le pied sur son frêle radeau et pria son compagnon de venir le rejoindre, après avoir fait un nouveau signe de Croix; mais celui-ci sentit sa foi défaillir et préféra la sécurité du port aux hasards d'une telle embarcation. Le Saint releva en haut la moitié du manteau en guise de voile et l'attacha au noeud de son bâton, comme au mât d'un navire. Un vent favorable ne tarda pas à se lever et le poussa en pleine mer, pendant que les matelots sur le rivage se regardaient muets de stupeur.

Six heures après, Raymond débarqua dans le port de Barcelone, se revêtit de son manteau aussi sec que s'il l'eût tiré de l'armoire, et, reprenant son bourdon, se dirigea droit vers le couvent. Les portes en étaient fermées; néanmoins il entra, apparut soudain au milieu de ses frères et se jeta aux pieds du prieur pour lui demander sa bénédiction. Ce prodige inouï se répandit bientôt dans toute la ville, car plusieurs personnes avaient été témoins de son débarquement.

La prière du saint religieux était continuelle et presque toujours accompagnée d'abondantes larmes. Notre-Seigneur lui avait donné pour familier un de Ses anges qui le réveillait à propos, pour lui permettre de vaquer à l'oraison. Il ne montait jamais à l'autel sans avoir confessé ses plus légères fragilités. Il disait souvent: "Les jours où de graves empêchements m'ont privé de la sainte Messe ont toujours été pour moi des jours de deuil et d'affliction."

Il employa les trente-cinq dernières années de sa vie à se préparer plus spécialement à la mort.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_raymond_de_pennafort.html

ST. RAYMUND OF PENNAFORT.

Born A.D. 1175, of a noble Spanish family, Raymund, at the age of twenty, taught philosophy at Barcelona with marvellous success. Ten years later his rare abilities won for him the degree of Doctor in the University of Bologna, and many high dignities. A tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, which had grown up with him from childhood, determined him in middle life to renounce all his honors and to enter her Order of St. Dominic. There, again, a vision of the Mother of Mercy instructed him to cooperate with his penitent St. Peter Nolasco, and with James, King of Aragon, in founding the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives. He began this great work by preaching a crusade against the Moors, and rousing to penance the Christians, enslaved in both soul and body by the infidel. King James of Aragon, a man of great qualities, but held in bond by a ruling passion, was bidden by the Saint to put away the cause of his sin. On his delay, Raymund asked for leave to depart from Majorca, since he could not live with sin. The king refused, and forbade, under pain of death, his conveyance by others. Full of faith, Raymund spread his cloak upon the waters, and, tying one end to his staff as a sail, made the sign of the cross and fearlessly stepped upon it. In six hours he was borne to Barcelona, where, gathering up his cloak dry, he stole into his monastery. The king, overcome by this miracle, became a sincere penitent and the disciple of the Saint till his death. In 1230,Gregory IX. summoned Raymund to Rome, made him his confessor and grand penitentiary, and directed him to compile "The Decretals," a collection of the scattered decisions of the Popes and Councils. Having refused the archbishopric of Tarragons, Raymund found himself in 1238 chosen third General of his Order; which post he again succeeded in resigning, on the score of his advanced age. His first act when set free was to resume his labors among the infidels, and in 1256 Raymund, then eighty-one, was able to report that ten thousand Saracens had received Baptism. He died A.D. 1275.

Reflection.--Ask St. Raymund to protect you from that fearful servitude, worse than any bodily slavery, which even one sinful habit tends to form.

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/St.Raymund.htm


St. Raymond of Peñafort

Born at Villafranca de Benadis, near Barcelona, in 1175; died at Barcelona, 6 January, 1275. He became professor of canon law in 1195, and taught for fifteen years. He left Spain for Bologna in 1210 to complete his studies in canon law. He occupied a chair of canon law in the university for three years and published a treatise on ecclesiastical legislation which still exists in the Vatican Library.


Raymond was attracted to the Dominican Order by the preaching of Blessed Reginald, prior of the Dominicans ofBologna, and received the habit in the Dominican Convent of Barcelona, whither he had returned from Italy in 1222. At Barcelona he was co-founder with St. Peter Nolasco of the Order of Mercedarians. He also founded institutes at Barcelona and Tunis for the study of Oriental languages, to convert the Moors and Jews.

At the request of his superiors Raymond published the Summa Casuum, of which several editions appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1229 Raymond was appointed theologian and penitentiary to theCardinal Archbishop of Sabina, John of Abbeville, and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Gregory IX, who appointed him chaplain and grand penitentiary.
The reputation of the saint for juridical science decided the pope to employ Raymond of Peñafort's talents in re-arranging and codifying the canons of the Church. He had to rewrite and condense decrees that had been multiplying for centuries, and which were contained in some twelve or fourteen collections already existing. We learn from a Bull of Gregory IX to the Universities of Paris and Bologna that many of the decrees in thecollections were but repetitions of ones issued before, many contradicted what had been determined in previousdecrees, and many on account of their great length led to endless confusion, while others had never been embodied in any collection and were of uncertain authority.

The pope announced the new publication in a Bull directed to the doctors and students of Paris and Bologna in 1231, and commanded that the work of St. Raymond alone should be considered authoritative, and should alone be used in the schools. When Raymond completed his work the pope appointed him Archbishop of Tarragona, but the saint declined the honour. Having edited the Decretals he returned to Spain. He was not allowed to remain long in seclusion, as he was elected General of the Order in 1238; but he resigned two years later. During histenure of office he published a revised edition of the Dominican Constitutions, and it was at his request that St. Thomas wrote the Summa Contra Gentiles. St. Raymond was canonized by Clement VIII in 1601. His Summa de Poenitentia et Matrimonio is said to be the first work of its kind. His feast is 23 January.

Sources

Monumenta Historica Ord. Proed., V, iv; Bullarium Ord. Proed.; PENIA, Vita S. Raymundi; MORTIER, Hist. des Maitres Generaux (Paris, 1903); FINKE, Acta Aragonensia, II (1908), 902-904; QUETIF-ECHARD, Script. Ord. Proed.; BALME, Raymundiana (1901).



St. Raymond of Penafort

St. Raymond of Pennafort, Patron Saint of Canonists (c.1180-1275). 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 finished his studies at an early age, and became a famous teacher. He then gave up all his honors and entered the Order of the Dominicans.

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.

Once he went with King James to the Island of Majorca to preach about Jesus. King James was a man of great qualities, but he let himself be ruled by passions. There on the Island, too, he was giving bad example. The Saint commanded him to send the woman away. The King said he would, but he did not keep his promise. So St. Raymond decided to leave the Island. The King declared he would punish any ship captain who brought the Saint back to Barcelona.

Putting all his trust in God, Saint Raymond spread his cloak upon the water, tied up one corner of it to a stick for a sail, made the Sign of the Cross, stepped onto the cloak, and sailed along for six hours until he reached Barcelona. This miracle moved the King. He was sorry for what he had done, and he became a true follower of St. Raymond. St. Raymond was one hundred years old at the time of his death.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-raymond-of-penafort/

Raymond of Penyafort, OP (RM)
(also known as Ramon of Peñafort)


Born at Villafranca (Peñafort), Catalonia, Spain, in 1175; died in Barcelona on January 6, 1275; canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601; feast day formerly January 23.


Saint Raymond of Peñafort is one of the best examples of the quiet humility of sanctity and of the eternal youth of the Dominican ideal. The Church remembers him as a model for confessors and as a champion of law and order. But to his Dominican brothers and sisters he is also patron of those faithful religious who work quietly and consistently for God.

Raymond was the talented son of the count of Peñafort in Catalonia, Spain. His distinguished family traced its roots to the kings of Aragon and counts of Barcelona. As a scion of such lineage, Raymond received every advantage in his education. First, he was sent to the cathedral school at Barcelona. He made such rapid progress in his studies that at the age of 20, he was already a professor of philosophy. He did this without pay and was greatly respected. He resigned his chair in Barcelona in 1210 to finish his education in Bologna, Italy, where he earned his doctorate in both canon and civil law in 1216. Thereafter, he taught canon law in Bologna, again without pay.

Here in Bologna he met the Dominicans, who were beginning to attract to their ranks so many talented young men, among whom were some of Raymond's students and fellow professors. On a journey to Barcelona, Raymond met Saint Dominic himself.

He was appointed archdeacon of Barcelona by Bishop Berengarius in 1219. (At some point he was ordained.) Raymond was a perfect model to the clergy of zealous devotion and boundless liberalities to the poor.

The year after Dominic's death in 1221, Peñafort enrolled at Barcelona in the Dominican Order at age 47. He did this in part because he was growing extremely pleased with himself and desperately needed to learn some humility. He asked those in charge of him in the monastery to prescribe some hurtful task in order to reduce his vanity.

With great intelligence, they decided to make use of his undoubted legal skills: Raymond was told to compile for use by confessors and moralists all the rules that the Church had worked out for dealing with sins. So, shortly after his profession as a Dominican, Raymond authored the first moral case-book in the history of the Church--a masterpiece that has never been forgotten. His Summa de casibus poenitentialibus, which was compiled between 1223 and 1238, had a profound influence on the development of the penitential system of the later Middle Ages.

So greatly was Raymond revered in his university world that his entry into the Dominicans caused a new tidal wave of vocations to the preaching friars; among the aspirants were two bishops and several noted professors. Claro, Moneta, and Roland of Cremona had caused astonishment by their renunciation of worldly honors on entering the order, but Raymond's profession caused even greater excitement in an already inflamed city.

The Dominicans at this time were deeply involved in missionary work among the Jews, heretics, and Moors of Spain. Raymond actively participated in this effort. He became famed for his preaching to Moors and Christians throughout Spain. He was convinced that Christians could only convert others if their own lives set an example of selflessness and godliness. He had thought that even those who had been captured by the Moors could influence their enemy, provided that they continued to love them and did not abandon their own faith under persecution. He even preached the Spanish crusade that led to the ousting of the Moors in 1492.

Raymond feared no one. King James of Aragon was an immoral man, and Raymond said he would not live in the same place as such a sinner. In spite of the king's anger, Raymond sailed back to Barcelona. (A legend grew up that he boldly sailed across on his own cloak, with not the slightest fear that this quaint boat might sink.)

There is some debate over whether, with Saint Peter Nolasco, he was co-founder of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom (for the redemption of Christian captives), also known as the Mercedarians, a project that was carried out the year after his profession. Whether he did or not, there was no question about his concern for the downtrodden, imprisoned, and poor. Going to Rome in 1230 to serve as Pope Gregory IX's confessor, he did everything possible to expedite the petitions of the poor by imposing the immediate reception, hearing, and decision regarding such petitions as a penance.

The pope also gave him the huge task of compiling all the scattered decrees of popes and councils since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. The resultant five books of the Decretals was so thorough that it remains, after a period of nearly seven centuries of rapid change, a monumental tribute to his learning. This collection, which took three years to complete, remained the standard text from its completion in 1234 until the reform of Canon Law in 1917. The Decretals were followed by the publication of an authoritative work on penitential discipline, the Summa casuum.

In 1235, the Pope Gregory named him archbishop of Tarragona, but sickness and his pleadings to be relieved of such a duty encouraged the pope to name another in his place, and Raymond returned to his solitude and contemplation in Barcelona.

He returned to Spain in 1236 to convalesce from his serious illness. He was received with as much joy as if the safety of the kingdom depended on his presence. Rejuvenated by the solitude of the priory in Barcelona, he resumed his work as a preacher and confessor, and was tremendously successful in making conversions. He was frequently employed in important work both by the Holy See and his king.

In 1238, Raymond was elected Master General of the Dominicans on the death of Blessed Jordan of Saxony of the order. When the news was brought to him from the general chapter in Bologna, he wept and entreated, but eventually he acquiesced in obedience. He made the visitation of his order on foot without discontinuing any of his austerities or religious exercises. He instilled in his spiritual children a love of regularity, solitude, studies, and the work of ministry.

During his two-year tenure as master general, Raymond concerned himself with reform, construction, and putting in permanent form the Dominican Constitutions, a document from which many democratic codes have borrowed copiously and which remained in effect until 1924. He also added notes on the doubtful passages to ensure clarity of interpretation. This code was approved in three general chapters. In one held in Paris (1239), he procured that the voluntary resignation of a superior, founded upon just reasons, should be accepted--this was his insurance: the following year, begging to be released from his office because of age and infirmity, Raymond resigned after two years of intense activity.

Though he resigned because of ill health, Raymond continued his mission work that brought thousands into the Church. In 1256, he wrote to the general of the order that 10,000 Saracens had been converted. He also helped establish the Inquisition in Catalonia; he was accused, perhaps justifiably, of compromising a Jewish rabbi by deceit.

Raymond envisioned the conquest of the East by learning as kings dreamed of conquering it by arms. To this end, he established friaries in Tunis and Murcia and schools in which Dominicans were trained in the languages of the East--Arabic and Hebrew. Later, he engaged his fellow Dominican, Saint Thomas Aquinas, to write Summa contra gentiles. Raymond had himself preached a crusade against the Moors, and his experience with the Order of Ransom gave him deep insight into the problem of converting the Eastern peoples.

Last 30 years of his one hundred years of life he lived in prayerful obscurity, giving to others the fruits of his contemplation and labor. On his deathbed he was visited by Alphonsus, the king of Castile, and James I of Aragon, one of his penitents.

It is as a wise and holy confessor that Raymond is best remembered in the Church. He was appointed at different times as confessor to the pope and king, and as a papal penitentiary he pronounced on difficult cases of conscience. As noted above, he wrote various works for the guidance of confessors and canonists.

In the bull of his canonization published in 1601, there is reference to miracles attributed to his intercession (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh, White).
In art Saint Raymond is portrayed as a middle-aged Dominican crossing the sea on his cloak (not to be confused with the young Saint Hyacinth, who carried a ciborium). He may be a Dominican holding a book and magister's wand, or with the Virgin and Child appearing to him (Roeder). He may be pictured holding a key, the symbol of confession (Dorcy).

Saint Raymond is greatly venerated in Spain and Majorca, and by the Mercedarians. He is the patron saint of lawyers, including canon lawyers, and schools and faculties of law (Roeder, White).



St. Raymund of Pennafort, Confessor

From the bull of his canonization, by Clement VIII. in 1601, and his life, written by several Spanish, Italian, and French authors. See Fleury, b. 78. n. 55. 64. and chiefly Touron, Hommes Illustres de l’Ordre de S. Domin. T. 1. p. 1.

A.D. 1275

THE HOUSE of Pegnafort, or, as it is pronounced, Pennafort, was descended from the counts of Barcelona, and nearly allied to the kings of Arragon. Raymund was born in 1175, at Pennafort, a castle in Catalonia, which in the fifteenth century was changed into a convent of the order of St. Dominick. Such was his rapid progress in his studies, that at the age of twenty he taught philosophy at Barcelona, which he did gratis, and with so great reputation, that he began then to be consulted by the ablest masters. His principal care was to instil into his scholars the most perfect maxims of solid piety and devotion, to compose all differences among the citizens, and to relieve the distressed. He was about thirty years of age when he went to Bologna in Italy, to perfect himself in the study of the canon and civil law, commenced Doctor in that faculty, and taught with the same disinterestedness and charity as he had done in his own country. In 1219 Berengarius, bishop of Barcelona, who had been at Rome, took Raymund home with him, to the great regret of the university and senate of Bologna; and, not content with giving him a canonry in his church, made him his archdeacon, grand vicar, and official. He was a perfect model to the clergy, by his innocence, zeal, devotion and boundless liberalities to the poor, whom he called his creditors. In 1222 he took the religious habit of St. Dominick at Barcelona, eight months after the death of the holy founder, and in the forty-seventh year of his age. No person was ever seen among the young novices more humble, more obedient, or more fervent. To imitate the obedience of a Man-God, who reduced himself to a state of subjection to his own creatures, to teach us the dangers and deep wound of self-will, and to point out to us the remedy, the saint would depend absolutely on the lights of his director in all things. And it was upon the most perfect self-denial that he laid the foundation of that high sanctity which he made the object of his most earnest desires. The grace of prayer perfected the work which mortification had begun. In a spirit of compunction he begged of his superiors that they would enjoin him some severe penance, to expiate the vain satisfaction and complacency which he said he had sometimes taken in teaching. They indeed imposed on him a penance, but not such a one as he expected. It was to write a collection of cases of conscience for the instruction and convenience of confessors and moralists. This produced his Sum, the first work of that kind. Had his method and decisions been better followed by some later authors of the like works, the holy maxims of Christian morality had been treated with more respect by some moderns, than they have been, to our grief and confusion.

Raymund joined to the exercises of his solitude the functions of an apostolical life, by labouring without intermission in preaching, instructing, hearing confessions with wonderful fruit, and converting heretics, Jews, and Moors. Among his penitents were James, king of Arragon, and St. Peter Nolasco, with whom he concerted the foundation of the Order of the B. Virgin of mercy for the redemption of captives. James, the young king of Arragon, had married Eleonora of Castile within the prohibited degrees, without a dispensation. A legate was sent by Pope Gregory IX. to examine and judge the case. In a council of bishops of the two kingdoms, held at Tarragon, he declared the marriage null, but that their son, Don Alphonso should be reputed lawfully born, and heir to his father’s crown. The king had taken his confessor with him to the council, and the cardinal legate was so charmed with his talents and virtue, that he associated him in his legation, and gave him a commission to preach the holy war against the Moors. The servant of God acquitted himself of that function with so much prudence, zeal, and charity, that he sowed the seeds of the total overthrow of those infidels in Spain. His labours were no less successful in the reformation of the manners of the Christians, detained in servitude under the Moors, which were extremely corrupted by their long slavery or commerce with these infidels. Raymund showed them, by words full of heavenly unction and fire, that, to triumph over their bodily, they must first conquer their spiritual, enemies, and subdue sin in themselves, which made God their enemy. Inculcating these and the like spiritual lessons, he ran over Catalonia, Arragon, Castile, and other countries. So general a change was wrought hereby in the manners of the people, as seemed incredible to all but those who were witnesses of it. By their conversion the anger of God was appeased, and the arms of the faithful became terrible to their enemies. The kings of Castile and Leon freed many places from the Moorish yoke. Don James, king of Arragon, drove them out of the islands of Majorca and Minorca, and soon after, in 1237, out of the whole kingdom of Valentia. Pope Gregory IX. having called St. Raymund to Rome in 1230, nominated him his chaplain, (which was the title of the Auditor of the causes of the apostolic palace,) as also grand penitentiary. He made him likewise his own confessarius, and in difficult affairs came to no decision but by his advice. The saint still reserved himself for the poor, and was so solicitous for them that his Holiness called him their father. He enjoined the pope, for a penance, to receive, hear, and expedite immediately all petitions presented by them. The pope, who was well versed in the canon law, ordered the saint to gather into one body all the scattered decrees of popes and councils, since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. Raymund compiled this work in three years, in five books, commonly called the Decretals, which the same Pope Gregory confirmed in 1234. It is looked upon as the best finished part of the body of the canon law; on which account the canonists have usually chosen it for the texts of their comments. In 1235, the pope named St. Raymund to the archbishopric of Tarragon, the capital of Arragon: the humble religious man was not able to avert the storm, as he called it, by tears and entreaties; but at length fell sick through anxiety and fear. To restore him to his health, his Holiness was obliged to consent to excuse him, but required that he should recommend a proper person. The saint named a pious and learned canon of Gironne. He refused other dignities with the like constancy.

For the recovery of his health he returned to his native country, and was received with as much joy, as if the safety of the whole kingdom, and of every particular person, had depended on his presence. Being restored again to his dear solitude at Barcelona, he continued his former exercises of contemplation, preaching, and administering the sacrament of penance. Except on Sundays, he never took more than one very small refection in the day. Amidst honours and applause he was ever little in his own eyes: he appeared in the schools like a scholar, and in his convent begged the superior to instruct him in the rules of religious perfection, with the humility and docility of a novice. Whether he sung the divine praises with his brethren, or prayed alone in his cell, or some corner of the church, he poured forth an abundance of tears; and often was not able to contain within himself the ardour of his soul. His mildness and sweetness were unalterable. The incredible number of conversions, of which he was the instrument, is known only to Him who, by his grace, was the author of them. He was employed frequently in most important commissions, both by the holy see and by the king. But he was thunderstruck by the arrival of four deputies from the general chapter of his order at Bologna, in 1238, with the news that he was chosen third general, Jordan of Saxony being lately dead. He wept and entreated, but at length acquiesced in obedience. He made the visitation of his order on foot, without discontinuing any of his penitential austerities, or rather exercises. He instilled into his spiritual children a love of regularity, solitude, mortification, prayer, sacred studies, and the apostolical functions, especially preaching. He reduced the constitutions of his order into a clearer method, with notes on the doubtful passages. This his code of rules was approved in three general chapters. In one held at Paris in 1239, he procured the establishment of this regulation, that a voluntary demission of a superior, founded upon just reasons, should be accepted. This he contrived in his own favour: for, to the extreme regret of the order, he in the year following resigned the generalship, which he had held only two years. He alleged for his reason his age of sixty-five years. Rejoicing to see himself again a private religious man, he applied himself with fresh vigour to the exercises and functions of an apostolic life, especially the conversion of the Saracens. Having this end in view, he engaged St. Thomas to write his work ‘Against the Gentiles,’ procured the Arabic and Hebrew tongues to be taught in several convents of his order; and erected convents, one at Tunis, and another at Murcia, among the Moors. In 1256 he wrote to his general, that ten thousand Saracens had received baptism. King James took him into the island of Majorca. The saint embraced that opportunity of cultivating that infant church. This prince was an accomplished soldier and statesman, and a sincere lover of religion, but his great qualities were sullied by a base passion for women. He received the admonitions of the saint with respect, and promised amendment of life, and a faithful compliance with the saint’s injunctions in every particular; but without effect. St. Raymund upon discovering that he entertained a lady at his court, with whom he was suspected to have criminal conversation, made the strongest instances to have her dismissed, which the king promised should be done, but postponed the execution. The saint, dissatisfied with the delay, begged leave to retire to his convent at Barcelona. The king not only refused him leave, but threatened to punish with death any person that should undertake to convey him out of the island. The saint, full of confidence in God, said to his companion, “A king of the earth endeavours to deprive us of the means of retiring; but the king of heaven will supply them.” He then walked boldly to the waters, spread his cloak upon them, tied up one corner of it to a staff for a sail, and having made the sign of the cross, stepped upon it without fear, whilst his timorous companion stood trembling and wondering on the shore. On this new kind of vessel the saint was wafted with such rapidity, that in six hours he reached the harbour of Barcelona, sixty leagues distant from Majorca. Those who saw him arrive in this manner met him with acclamations. But he gathering up his cloak dry, put it on, stole through the crowd, and entered his monastery. A chapel and a tower, built on the place where he landed, have transmitted the memory of this miracle to posterity. This relation is taken from the bull of his canonization, and the earliest historians of his life. The king became a sincere convert, and governed his conscience, and even his kingdoms, by the advice of St. Raymund from that time till the death of the saint. The holy man prepared himself for his passage to eternity, by employing days and nights in penance and prayer. During his last illness, Alphonsus, king of Castile, with his queen, sons, and brother; and James, king of Arragon, with his court, visited him, and received his last benediction. He armed himself with the last sacraments; and, in languishing sighs of divine love, gave up his soul to God, on the 6th of January, in the year 1275, and the hundredth of his age. The two kings, with all the princes and princesses of their royal families, honoured his funeral with their presence: but his tomb was rendered far more illustrious by miracles. Several are recorded in the bull of his canonization, published by Clement VIII. in 1601. Bollandus has filled fifteen pages in folio with an account of them. His office is fixed by Clement X. the 23rd of January.

The saints first learned in solitude to die to the world and themselves, to put on the spirit of Christ, and ground themselves in a habit of recollection and a relish only for heavenly things, before they entered upon the exterior functions even of a spiritual ministry. Amidst these weighty employments, not content with reserving always the time and means of frequent retirement for conversing with God and themselves, in their exterior functions by raising their minds to heaven with holy sighs and desires, they made all their actions in some measure an uninterrupted prayer and exercise of divine love and praise. St. Bonaventure reckons it among the general exercises of every religious or spiritual man, 1 “That he keep his mind always raised, at least virtually, to God: hence, whensoever a servant of God has been distracted from attending to him for ever so short a space, he grieves and is afflicted, as if he was fallen into some misfortune, by having been deprived of the presence of such a friend who never forgets us. Seeing that our supreme felicity and glory consists in the eternal vision of God, the constant remembrance of him is a kind of imitation of that happy state: this is the reward, that the virtue which entitles us to it. Till we are admitted to his presence, let us in our exile always bear him in mind; every one will behold him in heaven with so much the greater joy, and so much the more perfectly, as he shall more assiduously and more devoutly have remembered him on earth. Nor is it only in our repose, but also in the midst of our employments, that we ought to have him present to our minds, in imitation of the holy angels, who, when they are sent to attend on us, so acquit themselves of the functions of this exterior ministry as never to be drawn from their interior attention to God. As much as the heavens exceed the earth, so much larger is the field of spiritual meditation than that of all terrestrial concerns.”

Note 1. S. Bonav. de Profectu Religios. l. 2. c. 20. p. 604. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.



Saint Raymund of Pennafort

Feast day: January 23rd

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    From the bull of his canonization, by Clement VIII in 1601, and his life, written by several Spanish, Italian and French authors. See Fleury, b. 78, n. 55, 64, and chiefly Touron Hommes Illustres de l'Ordre de S. Domin. t. 1, p. I

The house of Pegnafort, or, as it is pronounced, Pennafort, was descended from the counts of Barcelona, and nearly allied to the kings of Aragon. Raymund was born in 1175, at Pennafort, a castle in Catalonia, which in the fifteenth century was changed into a convent of the order of St. Dominick. Such was his rapid progress in his studies, that at the age of twenty he taught philosophy at Barcelona, which he did gratis, and with so great reputation, that he began then to be consulted by the ablest masters. His principal care was to instil into his scholars the most perfect maxims of a solid piety and devotion, to compose all differences among the citizens, and to relieve the distressed. He was about thirty years of age when he went to Bologna, in Italy, to perfect himself in the study of the canon and civil law, commenced Doctor in that faculty, and taught with the same disinterestedness and charity as he had done in his own country. In 1219 Berengarius, bishop of Barcelona, who had been at Rome, took Raymund home with him, to the great regret of the university and senate of Bologna; and, not content with giving him a canonry in his church, made him his archdeacon, grand vicar, and official. He was a perfect model to the clergy, by his innocence, zeal, devotion, and boundless liberalities to the poor, whom he called his creditors. In 1222 he took the religious habit of St. Dominick at Barcelona, eight months after the death of the holy founder, and in the forty-seventh year of his age. No person was ever seen among the young novices more humble, more obedient, or more fervent. To imitate the obedience of a Man-God, who reduced himself to a state of subjection to his own creatures, to teach us the dangers and deep wound of self-will, and to point out to us the remedy, the saint would depend absolutely on the lights of his director in all things. And it was upon the most perfect self-denial that he laid the foundation of that high sanctity which he made the object of his most earnest desires. The grace of prayer perfected the work which mortification had begun. In a spirit of compunction he begged of his superiors that they would enjoin him some severe penance, to expiate the vain satisfaction and complacency which he said he had sometimes taken in teaching. They indeed imposed on him a penance, but not such a one as he expected. It was to write a collection of cases of conscience for the instruction and conveniency of confessors and moralists. This produced his Sum the first work of that kind. Had his method and decisions been better followed by some later authors of the like works, the holy maxims of Christian morality had been treated with more respect by some moderns than they have been, to our grief and confusion.

    Raymund joined to the exercises of his solitude the functions of an apostolical life, by laboring without intermission in preaching, instructing, hearing confessions with wonderful fruit, and converting heretics, Jews, and Moors Among his penitents were James, king of Aragon, and St. Peter Nolasco, with whom he concerted the foundation of the Order of the B. Virgin of mercy for the redemption of captives. James, the young king of Aragon had married Eleonora of Castile within the prohibited degrees, without a dispensation. A legate was sent by pope Gregory IX. to examine and judge the case. In a council of bishops of the two kingdoms, held at Tar rayon, he declared the marriage null, but that their son Don Alphonso should be reputed lawfully born, and heir to his father's crown. The king had taken his confessor with him to the council, and the cardinal legate was so charmed with his talents and virtue, that he associated him in his legation and gave him a commission to preach the holy war against the Moors. The servant of God acquitted himself of that function with so much prudence, zeal, and charity, that he sowed the seeds of the total overthrow of those infidels in Spain. His labors were no less successful in the reformation of the manners of the Christians detained in servitude under the Moors which were extremely corrupted by their long slavery or commerce with these infidels. Raymund showed them, by words full of heavenly unction and fire, that, to triumph over their bodily, they must first conquer their spiritual enemies, and subdue sin in themselves, which made God their enemy. Inculcating these and the like spiritual lessons, he ran over Catalonia, Aragon, Castile, and other countries. So general a change was wrought hereby in the manners of the people, as seemed incredible to all but those who were witnesses of it. By their conversion the anger of God was appeased, and the arms of the faithful became terrible to their enemies. The kings of Castile and Leon freed many places from the Moorish yoke. Don James, king of Aragon, drove them out of the islands of Majorca and Minorca, and soon after, in 1237, out of the whole kingdom of Valentia. Pope Gregory IX. having called St. Raymund to Rome in 1230, nominated him his chaplain, (which was the title of the Auditor of the causes of the apostolic palace,) as also grand penitentiary. He made him likewise his own confessarius, and in difficult affairs came to no decision but by his advice. The saint still reserved himself for the poor, and was so solicitous for them that his Holiness called him their father. He enjoined the pope, for a penance, to receive, hear, and expedite immediately all petitions presented by them. The pope, who was well versed in the canon law, ordered the saint to gather into one body all the scattered decree of popes and councils, since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. Raymund compiled this work in three years, in five books, commonly called the Decretals, which the same pope Gregory confirmed in 1234. It is looked upon as the best finished part of the body of the canon law; on which account the canonists have usually chosen it for the texts of their comments. In 1235, the pope named St. Raymund to the archbishopric of Tarragon, the capital of Aragon: the humble religious man was not able to avert the storm, as he called it, by tears and entreaties; but at length fell sick through anxiety and fear. To restore him to his health, his Holiness was obliged to consent to excuse him, but required that he should recommend a proper person. The saint named a pious and learned canon of Gironne. He refused other dignities with the like constancy.

    For the recovery of his health he returned to his native country, and was received with as much joy as if the safety of the whole kingdom. and of every particular person, had depended on his presence. Being restored again to his dear solitude at Barcelona, he continued his former exercises of contemplation, preaching, and administering the sacrament of penance. Except on Sundays, he never took more than one very small refection in the day. Amidst honors and applause he was ever little in his own eyes: he appeared in the schools like a scholar, and in his convent begged the superior to instruct him in the rules of religious perfection, with the humility and docility of a novice. Whether he sung the divine praises with his brethren, or prayed alone in his cell, or some corner of the church, ho poured forth an abundance of tears; and often was not able to contain within himself the ardor of his soul. His mildness and sweetness were unalterable. The incredible number of conversions of which he was the instrument, is known only to Him who, by his grace, was the author of them. He was employed frequently in most important commissions, both by the holy see and by the king. But he was thunderstruck by the arrival of four deputies from the general chapter of his order at Bologna, in 1238, with the news that he was chosen third general, Jordan of Saxony being lately dead. He wept and entreated, but at length acquiesced in obedience. He made the visitation of his order on foot, without discontinuing any of his penitential austerities, or rather exercises. He instilled into his spiritual children a love of regularity, solitude, mortification, prayer, sacred studies, and the apostolical functions, especially preaching. He reduced the constitutions of his order into a clearer method, with notes on the doubtful passages. This his code of rules was approved in three general chapters. In one held at Paris in 1239, he procured the establishment of this regulation, that a voluntary demission of a superior, founded upon just reasons, should be accepted. This he contrived in his own favor; for, to the extreme regret of the order, he in the year following resigned the generalship, which he had held only two years. He alleged for his reason his age of sixty-five years. Rejoicing to see himself again a private religious man, he applied himself with fresh vigor to the exercises and functions of an apostolical life, especially the conversion of the Saracens. Having this end in view he engaged St. Thomas to write his work 'Against the Gentiles;' procured the Arabic and Hebrew tongues to be taught in several convents of his order; and erected convents, one at Tunis, and another at Murcia, among the Moors. In 1256, he wrote to his general that ten thousand Saracens had received baptism. King James took him into the island of Majorca. The saint embraced that opportunity of cultivating that infant church. This prince was an accomplished soldier and statesman, and a sincere lover of religion, but his great qualities were sullied by a base passion for women. He received the admonitions of the saint with respect, and promised amendment of life, and a faithful compliance with the saint's injunctions in every particular; but without effect. St. Raymund, upon discovering that he entertained a lady at his court with whom he was suspected to have criminal conversation, made the strongest instances to have her dismissed, which the king promised should be done, but postponed the execution. The saint, dissatisfied with the delay, begged leave to retire to his convent at Barcelona. The king not only refused him leave, but threatened to punish with death any person that should undertake to convey him out of the island. The saint, full of confidence in God, said to his companion, "A king of the earth endeavors to deprive us of the means of retiring; but the King of heaven will supply them." He then walked boldly to the waters, spread his cloak upon them, tied up one corner of it to a staff for a sail, and having made the sign of the cross, stepped upon it without fear, while his timorous companion stood trembling and wondering on the shore. On this new kind of vessel the saint was wafted with such rapidity, that in six hours he reached the harbor of Barcelona, sixty leagues distant from Majorca. Those who saw him arrive in this manner met him with acclamations. But he, gathering up his cloak dry, put it on, stole through the crowd, and entered his monastery. A chapel and a tower, built on the place where he landed, have transmitted the memory of this miracle to posterity. This relation is taken from the bull of his canonization, and the earliest historians of his life. The king became a sincere convert, and governed his conscience, and even his kingdoms, by the advice of St. Raymund from that time till the death of the saint. The holy man prepared himself for his passage to eternity, by employing days and nights in penance and prayer. During his last illness, Alphonsus, king of Castile, with his queen, sons, and brother; and James, king of Aragon, with his court, visited him, and received his last benediction. He armed himself with the last sacraments; and, in languishing sighs of divine love, gave up his soul to God, on the 6th of January, in the year 1275, and the hundredth of his age. The two kings, with all the princes and princesses of their royal families, honored his funeral with their presence: but his tomb was rendered far more illustrious by miracles. Several are recorded in the bull of his canonization, published by Clement VIII. in 1601. Bollandus has filled fifteen pages in folio with an account of them. His office is fixed by Clement X. to the 23d of January.

    The saints first learned in solitude to die to the world and themselves, to put on the spirit of Christ, and ground themselves in a habit of recollection and a relish only for heavenly things, before they entered upon the exterior functions even of a spiritual ministry. Amidst these weighty employments, not content with reserving always the time and means of frequent retirement for conversing with God and themselves, in their exterior functions by raising their minds to heaven with holy sighs and desires, they made all their actions in some measure an uninterrupted prayer and exercise of divine love and praise. St. Bonaventure reckons it among the general exercises of every religious or spiritual men, "that he keep his mind always raised, at least virtually, to God: hence, whensoever a servant of God has been distracted from attending to him for ever so short a space, he grieves and is afflicted, as if he was fallen into some misfortune, by having been deprived of the presence of such a friend who never forgets us. Seeing that our supreme felicity and glory consists in the eternal vision of God, the constant remembrance of him is a kind of imitation of that happy state: this the reward, that the virtue which entitles us to it. Till we are admitted to his presence, let us in our exile always bear him in mind: every one will behold him in heaven with so much the greater joy, and so much the more perfectly, as he shall more assiduously and more devoutly have remembered him on earth. Nor is it only in our repose, but also in the midst of our employments, that we ought to have him present to our minds, in imitation of the holy angels, who, when they are sent to attend on us, so acquit themselves of the functions of this exterior ministry as never to be drawn from their interior attention to God. As much as the heavens exceed the earth, so much larger is the field of spiritual meditation than that of all terrestrial concerns."

(Taken from Vol. I of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)


Born: 1175 at Penafort, Catalonia, Spain

Died: January 6, 1275 at Barcelona, Spain

Canonized: April 29, 1601 by Pope Clement VIII

Representation: Cloak

Patronage: barristers; canonists; lawyers; medical record librarians

Writings: Summa Cassuam


First Vespers:

Ant. By the rays of his doctrine he enlightened those who were sitting in darkness of error, and by ardor of his charity he became a redeemer of the poor and the captive.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Raymund.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Lauds:

Ant. He liberated those in chains from the hand of the enemy, and brought back the wayward from the path of iniquity, that their steps might be directed in the way of peace.

V. The just man shall blossom like the lily.

R. And shall flourish forever before the Lord.

Second Vespers:

Ant. O Blessed Raymund, who art commended by truth of doctrine and adorned with virginal chastity , teach us the way of salvation, and obtain for us purity of heart that by thy prayers we may obtain eternal joys.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Raymund.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Prayers:

Let us Pray: O God, who didst chose Blessed Raymund for a glorious minister of the Sacrament of Penance, and didst guide him wonderfully across the waves of the sea, grant that we, through his intercession may bring forth fruits worthy of penance, and at length reach the haven of salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Readings

"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."

SOURCE : http://www.willingshepherds.org/Raymund%20P.html

--from a letter by Saint Raymond

San Raimondo de Penafort Sacerdote


- Memoria Facoltativa


Peñafort (Catalogna), 1175 - Barcellona, 6 gennaio 1275

Figlio di signori catalani, nasce a Peñafort nel 1175. Comincia gli studi a Barcellona e li termina a Bologna. Qui conosce il genovese Sinibaldo Fieschi, poi papa Innocenzo IV. Di ritorno a Barcellona, Raimondo è nominato canonico della cattedrale. Ma nel 1222 si apre in città un convento dell'Ordine dei Predicatori, fondato pochi anni prima da san Domenico. E lui lascia il canonicato per farsi domenicano. Nel 1223 aiuta il futuro santo Pietro Nolasco a fondare l'Ordine dei Mercedari per il riscatto degli schiavi. Qualche anno dopo a Roma Gregorio IX gli affida il compito di raccogliere e ordinare tutte le decretali (gli atti emanati dai pontefici in materia dogmatica e disciplinare, rispondendo a quesiti o intervenendo su situazioni specifiche). Raimondo riesce a dare un ordine e una completezza mai raggiunti prima. Nel 1234, il Papa gli offre l'arcivescovado di Tarragona. Ma lui rifiuta. Nel 1238 i suoi confratelli lo vogliono generale dell'Ordine. Ma l'attività intensa che lo vede in tutta Europa lo sfianca. A 70 anni torna infine a una vita di preghiera, studio, formazione dei nuovi predicatori nell'Ordine. Frate Raimondo muore a Barcellona nel 1275. (Avvenire)

Etimologia: Raimondo = intelligenza protettrice, dal tedesco

Martirologio Romano: San Raimondo di Penyafort, sacerdote dell’Ordine dei Predicatori: insigne conoscitore del diritto canonico, scrisse rettamente e fruttuosamente sul sacramento della penitenza e, eletto maestro generale, preparò una nuova redazione delle Costituzioni dell’Ordine; in avanzata vecchiaia a Barcellona in Spagna si addormentò piamente nel Signore.

(6 gennaio: A Barcellona nella Catalogna in Spagna, san Raimondo di Penyafort, la cui memoria si celebra domani).

E’ il terzo generale dei Domenicani, dopo Domenico di Guzman e Giordano di Sassonia. Ma le cariche – quando le accetta – addosso a lui durano sempre poco, e quasi sembrano interruzioni forzate e temporanee di un modello di vita al quale tornerà sempre, nella sua lunga esistenza: preghiera, studio e nient’altro.

Figlio di signori catalani, ha cominciato gli studi a Barcellona e li ha terminati a Bologna, dov’è stato anche insegnante. Qui ha conosciuto il patrizio genovese Sinibaldo Fieschi, poi papa Innocenzo IV e aspro nemico dell’imperatore Federico II; e il capuano Pier delle Vigne, che di Federico sarà l’uomo di fiducia e poi la vittima (innocente, secondo Dante). Torna a Barcellona, dov’è nominato canonico della cattedrale. Ma nel 1222 si apre in città un convento dell’Ordine dei Predicatori, fondato pochi anni prima da san Domenico. E lui lascia il canonicato per farsi domenicano.

Nel 1223 aiuta il futuro santo Pietro Nolasco, originario della Linguadoca in Francia, a fondare l’Ordine dei Mercedari per il riscatto degli schiavi, e qualche anno dopo accompagna il cardinale Giovanni d’Abbeville a Roma. Qui Gregorio IX nota la profondità della sua dottrina giuridica e gli affida un gravoso compito: raccogliere e ordinare tutte le decretali, ossia gli atti emanati via via dai pontefici in materia dogmatica e disciplinare, rispondendo a quesiti o intervenendo su situazioni specifiche: una massa enorme di testi più e meno importanti, un coacervo plurisecolare di decisioni, da perderci la testa. Raimondo riesce a dare un ordine e una completezza mai raggiunti prima, e quindi una pronta utilità.

A lavoro finito, nel 1234, il Papa gli offre in ricompensa l’arcivescovado di Tarragona. Ma lui non accetta: è frate domenicano e frate rimane. Nel 1238, però, sono appunto i suoi confratelli a volerlo generale dell’Ordine, e deve dire di sì. Dice di sì a un periodo faticosissimo di viaggi, sempre a piedi, attraverso l’Europa, da un convento all’altro, da un problema all’altro. Un’attività che lo sfianca, costringendolo infine a lasciare l’incarico.

Torna, ormai settantenne, alla sua vera vita: preghiera, studio, formazione dei nuovi predicatori nell’Ordine, che si va espandendo in Europa. Un Ordine per sua natura missionario e che perciò, pensa Raimondo, si deve dotare di tutti gli strumenti culturali indispensabili per avvicinare, interessare, convincere. Occorrono testi idonei alla discussione con persone colte di altre fedi; e lui lavora per parte sua a prepararli, spingendo inoltre il confratello Tommaso d’Aquino a scrivere per questo scopo la famosa Summa contra Gentiles. Inoltre, bisogna conoscere da vicino la cultura di coloro ai quali si vuole annunciare Cristo e Raimondo istituisce una scuola di ebraico a Murcia, in Spagna, e una di arabo a Tunisi. Sembra che tante fatiche e iniziative gli allunghino la vita. Frate Raimondo muore infatti a Barcellona ormai centenario. Sarà canonizzato nel 1601 da Clemente VIII.
SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/25650


Autore:
Domenico Agasso
SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/25650