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Sunday, January 7, 2007
St. Raymond of Peñafort: Third Dominican Master

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 7
Semidouble (1955 Calendar): January 23

St. Raymond was born in 1175 at Penafort, Catalonia, Spain to noble parents. He became a philosophy teacher around the age of 20 and later a priest. St. Raymond joined the Dominicans in 1218. In 1230, he was summoned to Rome by Pope Gregory IX and assigned to collect all official letters of the popes since 1150. St. Raymond gathered the letters and published five volumes.

In 1238, St. Raymond became the Master general of the Dominicans. After reviewing the Order's Rule, to ensure everything was legally correct with Church law, he resigned his position in 1240 in order to dedicate himself to parish work. He declined the offer to become archbishop too in order to focus on the parish work he loved in Spain.

His compassion helped many people return to God through Reconciliation - the Sacrament of Confession. St. Raymond started started a school to teach missionaries the language and culture of the non-Christians needing to be evangelized in Northern Africa and Spain. Along with St. Thomas Aquinas, he wrote a booklet to explain the truths of faith in a way nonbelievers could easily understand.

He died on January 6, 1275, in Spain of natural causes.

Additional Reading: The faith community of Saint Raymond de Penafort: All are welcome in this place : an illustrated history


O God, Who didst choose blessed Raymond to be eminent as a minister of the Sacrament of Penance and dist lead him in wondrous wise upon the waves of the sea: grant that by his intercession we may be able to bring forth worthy fruits of penance, and to reach the port of everlasting salvation. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal


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