Raymond of Penyafort

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Raymond of Penyafort

Raymond of Penyafort (also Raymund ; also Peñafort , Penaforte or Pennaforte ; lat. Raymundus de Pennafort (s) , katal. Ramon de Penyafort , span. Raimundo de Peñafort * to 1175 on the parental castle Pennafort in the High Penedes in the former Grenzmark of the county of Barcelona , today located within the town of Santa Margarida i els Monjos ; † January 6, 1275 in Barcelona ) was an important canonist and third master of the order of the Dominicans .



Summa de Casibus Poenitentiae , circa 1280–90, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana , Florence

Raimund studied in Barcelona philosophy and Bologna Law . He then became professor of canon law in 1195 . He completed his studies from 1210 at the famous local law school . There he held a chair in canon law for three years and published a treatise on ecclesiastical jurisprudence, which is kept in the Vatican Library to this day .

Canon and religious

In 1220, Raymond von Penyafort returned to his homeland and became a canon at the Barcelona Cathedral . Two years later, according to the command of the Blessed Mother, he wrote the Constitutions of the Mercedarian Order for St. Peter Nolascus, which aimed to ransom prisoners from Mohammedan captivity. The members of this spiritual knightly order, which was also called "Order of Mercy" in Germany, lived in celibacy . They sent special members, so-called “Redemptores” (“Redeemers”), to the Muslims to buy Christian slaves free.

Raimund became aware of the order through the sermons of Reginald, the prior of the Dominicans in Bologna. After returning to Barcelona in 1222, he joined the Dominicans. After the novitiate (1223-1229) he taught at universities of his order. At the request of his superiors, Raimund published his Summa Casuum . Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241) called him to Rome around 1230 . He was given the task of looking through and organizing the papal decretals that had accumulated over the centuries. Raimund then worked out the Liber Extra , a collection of decretals that became the basis for church jurisdiction . In the bull Rex pacificus of September 5, 1234, Pope Gregory IX. all legal scholars of the church to use only this work as a binding basis. The work for confessors, the Summa de paenitentia et matrimonio , written by Raimund von Penyafort around 1238, found widespread use .

Order General

The appointment as Archbishop of Tarragona turned down Raimund. On his return to Spain he became in 1238 general of the order , but resigned two years later. During his tenure, he published a revised version of the Dominican Constitutions . At his suggestion, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the work Summa contra gentiles ("Sum against the Gentiles"), in which he tried to refute the non-Christian philosophy of the Mohammedans and the Gentiles with arguments of reason.

From 1238 to 1240 Raimund was master of the order of the Dominicans, i.e. the second successor of St. Dominic . During his term of office he codified the strict constitutions , which remained substantially in force until the decree on the contemporary renewal of religious life, which was formulated by the Second Vatican Council. All reforms of the order have always aimed to adhere to these constitutions.

A mission decree of the Aragonese king from 1242 can be traced back to the advice of Raymund von Peñaforte: In this, Jews and Mohammedans are obliged to regularly participate in sermons that should lead them to the Catholic faith. He also moved the king to let the Inquisition work in his kingdom.

Advisor to the king

In 1242 Raimund returned to Barcelona and became an advisor to King James I of Aragon, the Conqueror (1213–1276). This brought Mallorca (1229-1230), Menorca (1232), Ibiza (1235) and Valencia (1232-1238) to Aragon. But since he was too devoted to a concubine , Raimund wanted to leave him during a stay in Mallorca. The king forbade it. Then Raimund sailed from the island to the mainland to Barcelona on his extended capa . The king followed the saint to ship and from then on complied with his advice.


Together with the Franciscans - Tertiaries Lull joined Raymond of Penyafort for the mission among Jews and Muslims. Raimund von Penyafort introduced the teaching of Arabic and Hebrew in several of the monasteries of the order. As early as 1256 he recorded ten thousand Saracens baptized . Raimundus Lullus, who was born in Palma in 1232 or 1233 , continued this work after Raimund's death.

The veneration of the Blessed Mother Mary was very important to him. Raimund was held in high regard by his contemporaries. His learning and wisdom were praised throughout Christianity. From July 20 to 24, 1263, he organized a disputation between Jewish and Christian thinkers known as the Barcelona Disputation .

Raimund was around 100 years old when he died in Barcelona on January 6, 1275, weakened by penance, work and ailments. Several miracles are said to have occurred at his grave: dust that trickled out of the grave is said to have brought about the recovery of many sick people.


Funerary sculpture

Raymond's relics were buried in the Gothic cathedral of Barcelona . Pope Clement VIII canonized him on April 29, 1601. He is the patron saint of canonists (scholars of canon law), lawyers and public prosecutors, as well as librarians for medical literature. He is also the patron saint of Barcelona and the Kingdom of Navarre. His feast day in the general Roman calendar is January 7th .

Concrete sculpture of St. Raimund on the facade of the Officialate of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, created by Wolfgang Eckert


  • Summula Raymundi: brevissimo compendio sacramentorum alta complectens misteria, de sortilegis, symonia, furto, rapina, usura, etquam variis casibus ... resolutiones abunde tradens . Christian Snellaert, Delft 1497. ( digitized version )
Summula 1497 in the complete catalog of incandescent prints (GW number 00214)
  • Adam Magister (Ed.): Su [m] mula clarissimi iurisco [n] sultissimiq [ue] viri Raymu [n] di demu [m] revisa ac castigatissime correcta. brevissimo [com] pendio sacrame [n] toru [m] alta co [m] plectens mysteria ... Cologne: Heinrich Quentell 1498 ( digitized , Lübeck City Library )
Summula 1498 in the complete catalog of incandescent prints (GW number 00215)


Web links

Commons : Raimund von Penyafort  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The big house book of the saints , DH Klein (Ed.), 2000, p. 24
predecessor Office successor
Jordan of Saxony Superior General of the Dominicans
1238 - 1240
Johannes von Wildeshausen