Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Catholic Defender: St. Raymond of Penafort

When looking at the lives of the Saints, it can be very interesting at how the Lord used the gifts of each person.

Although their gifts varied, they were sold out to God with all their hearts, minds, strengths, and souls.

They had many struggles as we all do, that is important to remember, but they are with the Lord.

We want to imitate their strengths and know their weaknesses to help inspire us.

St. Raymond of Penafort was born in 1175. By 1195, St. Raymond, became a professor of Canon Law at the rip old age of 20.

St. Raymond became impressed with the spiritual rule of St. Dominic and became a Dominican by 1221.

His expertise became so well known, Pope Gregory IX sent for St. Raymond to serve as a chaplain.

St. Raymond would institute studies on Oriental languages to help convert the Moors and Jews.

The Pope called for St. Raymond to reorganize and rearrange the whole work on Canon Law.

By 1231, this work was published and the Pope called on this work to be the only authoritative authority to be used in all the schools and higher places of learning.

He is remembered for his works "Summa Casuum" and "Summa de Poenitentia et Matrimonio". He also requested St. Thomas Aquainus to write his "Summa Contra Gentiles".

This work continues to be relevant today, I know Seminarians from both Catholic and Protestant backgrounds who research these works as part of their education requirements.

St. Raymond's work has been very important to Christ's call to go to all the nations. He lived out his life totally for the Lord and his talents has helped thousands of young men seeking to become priests. He had the gift of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding.

I am reminded of Mother Mary's instruction to Lucia, one of the children of Fatima, that she would need to learn to read and write to take this message to the world. God uses us when we choose to serve him.

St. Raymond certainly reminds us the need to use our brains as well as live out our faith. The power of an informed mind marked with the faith of a saint. We all have gifts and talents that the Lord gives us. The Lord would take St. Raymond on 6 January 1275 and was canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601. Today, St. Raymond sings with the heavenly hosts in that great cloud of witnesses. St. Raymond, pray for us!

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