Friar, Priest, Master of the Order
Born at Peñyafort in Catalonia around the year 1175, Saint Raymond was a priest of the church of Barcelona. He became a distinguished theologian and professor of canon law at the University of Bologna and while there joined the Order in 1222. During his own lifetime he was known for his Summa which he composed as an aid for confessors. Upon the order of Gregory IX he compiled the Decretals which remained in use until the present century. Elected third Master of the Order (1238-1240) Raymond served his brothers faithfully. He encouraged the friars to engage in dialogue with Muslims and Jews, established a school for the study of Arabic languages and the Koran and aided the friars of Our Lady of Mercy in their work in northern Africa. He died in Barcelona on January 6, 1275.