St. Raymond of Peñyafort

Stained glass window from St. Dominic's Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Friar, Priest, Master of the Order

A renowned doctor of canon law and notable writer, Raymond of Peñafort (1175 – 1275) joined the Dominican Order in 1222, after a distinguished academic career in Barcelona and Bologna. His two principal works are his Summa Casuum on penitential discipline and his compilation of the decretals of canon law, commissioned by Pope Gregory IX. This collection of conciliar and papal decrees became a standard work for canon lawyers for nearly seven hundred years. Raymond later became the third master of the Order. According to Dominican tradition, he once rebuked the king of Aragon for his immoral behavior. When Raymond attempted to leave the island of Majorca and return to Spain, he could not because the kind had forbidden all sailors to give him passage. Raymond placed his cappa, the black mantle of the Dominican habit, on the water, stepped on it, and floated to the mainland.

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