Today is the feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort (1175-1275), one of the first Dominicans (officially known as the Order of Preachers) eventually becoming the third Master General of the Order (after Saint Dominic himself, and Jordan of Saxony), and a fellow Dominican with his even-more famous confrere, Thomas Aquinas, with whom he was contemporaneous (1225-1274). It was Raymond who encouraged Friar Thomas to write his Summa Contra Gentiles for the conversion of the ‘Moors’ (Spanish Muslims). Saint Raymond was one of the first modern compilers and codifiers of the Code of Canon Law, which before his time was scattered in numerous documents.  The Code which he formulated, decreed by Pope Gregory IX (hence, known as the Decretals of Gregory IX), became the authoritative law of the Church for 700 years, until reformulated under the impetus of Pope St. Pius X and Benedict XV in 1917, then again under Pope Saint John Paul II in 1983.  The current Code of Canon Law was promulgated that year on January 25.  In honour of Saint Raymond, and the approaching anniversary, here is a meditation from 2008 on the beauty and purpose of Canon Law to clarify doctrine and discipline, by then-Pope Benedict XVI, who helped write the current Code. (Editor)



Praise the Lord

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