St. Raymond and the Crusades

St. Raymond of Barcelona, of the noble family of Pennafort, zealously applied himself at Bologna to works of charity and to the study of ecclesiastical and civil law. When he had received his doctorate, he taught there, gaining great praise for interpreting the sacred canons.

Soon Bishop Berengarius honoured him with the offices of canon and provost of the church of Barcelona, and he gave a shining example by his virtue, teaching and gentle ways, also striving with all his power to promote the cult of the Virgin Mother of God. At the age of forty-five, he was professed in the Order of Friars Preachers.

It was at his instigation that St. Peter Nolasco, who was his penitent, together with James I, King of Aragon, founded the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Redemption of Captives, and Raymond himself drew up admirable rules for its way of life.

At the command of Gregory IX, he was summoned to Rome to collect the decrees of the various popes into one volume, called the Decretals. He consistently refused the archbishopric of Tarragona, and he resigned the office of master general of the Order of Preachers after exercising it in a most holy manner for two years. He was nearly an hundred years old when he fell asleep in the Lord in 1275.

Clement VIII enrolled his name among those of the Saints.

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