RAYMOND OF PEÑAFORT, PRIEST
Raymond of Peñafort (ca. 1180–1275) was a distinguished Dominican and canonist. He was born of a family of high station in Catalonia, Spain, and received doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Bologna and also taught there. Raymond joined the Dominicans in Barcelona, where he combined the tasks of preaching with those of study and meditation. Called to Rome in 1230 to be the pope’s confessor, he produced the Decretals of Gregory IX, the basis for the Code of Canon Law, and later wrote an influential guide for confessors. In 1238 he was elected third master general of the Dominican order.
In 1240, at age sixty-five, he voluntarily resigned his office and devoted the rest of his life to preaching and working for the conversion of the Jews and the Moors, the latter especially through dialogue, and was instrumental in establishing the Inquisition in Catalonia. He was canonized in 1601 and is the patron saint of canon lawyers. His feast is on the General Roman Calendar.