Raymond of Peñafort, St.

views updated


Canonist; b. Vilefranca de Penades, near Barcelona, 117580; d. Barcelona, Jan. 6, 1275; canonized by Pope clement viii in 1601. Raymond completed the trivium and quadrivium at the cathedral school in Barcelona, where he then taught rhetoric and logic. After eight years of legal studies at Bologna, he became master of law in 1218. Three years later he returned to Barcelona, where he received the Dominican habit in the convent of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

In 1229 Raymond was associated with the work of the papal legate in Spain, John of Abbeville. The following year gregory ix summoned Raymond to the papal court as his confessor and, shortly thereafter, named him chaplain and penitentiary. The pope also entrusted to him the task of collecting the papal decretal letters into one volume. This work, which came to be called the Decretales Gregorii IX, was officially promulgated by the bull Rex Pacificus in 1234. Raymond refused the proffered archbishopric of Tarragona and asked permission to return to Spain. He reached Barcelona in 1236, having relinquished all his offices but that of penitentiary, which he held until 123738.

At the general chapter of 1238 he was elected the third master general of the Dominicans. Raymond did not change the customs that had been adopted under St. Dominic, but he did give the constitutions of the Order of Preachers a juridical arrangement.

His task completed, he resigned as general in 1240 and returned to Spain, where he turned his attention to the extirpation of heresy and the apostolate to the Jews and Moors. As a member of the papal household he had been instrumental in establishing the Inquisition in Aragón in 1232. His work at the papal chancery had brought to his attention reports from missionaries to the Moors. He used his influence to inaugurate a school of Arabic studies and to induce St. Thomas Aquinas to compose his Summa contra gentiles, a presentation of the truths of faith adapted to a pagan mentality. Raymond's lifetime of almost a century ended on the Epiphany 1275. His body was first placed in the chapel of his convent of St. Catherine in Barcelona. In 1878 the chapel of SS. John and Paul in the cathedral of Barcelona became his final resting place.

Raymond's writings exercised a vast influence. His Decretales Gregorii IX and his revision of the Dominican Constitutions remained part of the law of the Church and of his order until the present Code of Canon Law was promulgated.

His first canonical treatise, the so-called Summa juris canonici (Barcelona 1945), was interrupted when Raymond left Bologna in 1221 and was never completed. In the only extant manuscript the first two of seven projected parts are found.

His principal literary work was the Summa de casibus poenitentiae, written (122229) at Barcelona. The work, which originally was in three books, was reissued by the author in 1235 with the addition of a fourth book, which was really a revision of Tancred's popular Summa de matrimonio. While earlier penitentials had contained little more than lists of sins and corresponding penances, confessors could find in Raymond's work a practical and systematic treatment of doctrinal and canonical matters of interest to them. In Book One, Raymond treated sins committed against God (in 16 titles); in Book Two, sins commited against one's neighbor (in 8 titles); and in Book Three, such questions as irregularities, impediments, dispensations, and sentences (in 34 titles). Hundreds of extant manuscripts and several published editions (Rome 1603,1619; Avignon 1715; Verona 1744) testify to the Summa's popularity and to Raymond's fame as an authority on the internal forum.

His minor works include a digest of his Summa for the use of Dominican confessors; the Dubitabilia cure responsionibus, containing cases of conscience; and the Diversae consultationes, containing replies to missionary superiors in Tunis. Of interest to the student of medieval canon law are his glosses on the Decretum, and perhaps also on the Compilatio IV, as well as his commentary on the Arbores consanguinitatis et affinitatis.

Feast: Jan. 7 (formerly 23).

Bibliography: t. m. schwertner, St. Raymond of Pennafort, ed. c. m. antony (Milwaukee 1935). f. valls taberner, San Ramón de Penyafort (Barcelona 1936; Barcelona 1979). f. balme, et al., eds., Monumenta ordinis praedicatorum historica, v.4 of Raymundiana (Rome 18981901). j. ruis serra, Diplomatario San Raimundo de Penyafort (Barcelona 1954). a. collell, "Raymundiana," Analecta Sacra Tarraconensia 30 (Barcelona 1957) 6395. p. ribes montanÉ, Relaciones entre la potestad eclesiástica y el poder secular, según san Ramón de Penyafort : estudio histórico-jurídico (Rome 1979). j. j. piquer jover, La vida i els miracles de Sant Ramon de Penyafort segons un gravador flamenc (Barcelona 1980), iconography. v. forcada comins, San Ramón de Peñafort (Valencia 1994). a. teetaert, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 13.2: 180623. r. naz, Dictionnaire de droit canonique (Paris 193565) 7:461464. s. kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik (Rome 1937) 443445. s. kuttner, "The Barcelona Edition of St. Raymond's First Treatise on Canon Law," Seminar 8 (1950) 5267; "Zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Summa de casibus poenitentiae des hl. Raymund von Penyafort," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 39 (Weimar 1953) 419434.

[p. stenger]

About this article

Raymond of Peñafort, St.

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article