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O God of mercy, source of grace,
Who draws us all to seek your face,
We give you thanks for this, your saint,
Who served you long without complaint.
As lawyer for the Church, his light
For sinners shone forth, calm and bright,
Friar and Master Gen’ral, he
Sought in his life Christ-like to be.
O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
Let all our hymns of praise addressed
To you, on this Saint Raymond’s day,
Give us all grace to walk your way.
J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications
People joke that heaven has few lawyer saints. And we know that jokes sometimes betray some truth. We have not only a lawyer who’s a saint, but a nobleman, priest, religious, lawyer, editor, author, and a bishop who is a saint. Not bad. Today’s liturgical memorial is a Dominican priest of Spanish nobility with an earned doctorate in canon and civil law. At 41, Raymond of Peñafort entered the Order of Preachers and then called by Pope Gregory IX to Rome to be his confessor and to work on some crucial projects for the Church. He’s known as the editor of papal decrees, author of the famous Summa de casibus poenitentiæ and for 2 years was the archbishop of Tarragona, Spain, before being elected the Master of the Order of Preachers. It is said that he encouraged Saint Thomas Aquinas to write the Summa contra gentiles.