Raymond of Penafort
1176/1180 - 6 January 1275

A brief biography.

Raymond of Penafort (Penyafort) was born at Villafranca de Panadés, near Barcelona, in 1176/1180. He became professor of canon law in 1195, and taught for fifteen years. He left Spain for Bologna to complete his studies in canon law in 1210 . He published there a treatise on ecclesiastical legislation which still exists in the Vatican Library.

Attracted  to the Dominican Order by the preaching of Blessed Reginald, prior of the Dominicans of Bologna, he received the habit in the Dominican priory of Barcelona. At Barcelona he was co-founder with St. Peter Nolasco of the Order of Mercedarians. He also founded institutes at Barcelona and Tunis for the study of Oriental languages, to convert the Moors and Jews.

In 1229, Raymond was appointed theologian and penitentiary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Sabina, John of Abbeville, and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Gregory IX, who appointed him chaplain and great penitentiary. There he collect the summery of decretals and published them.


The Pope announced the new publication in a Bull directed to the doctors and students of Paris and Bologna in 1231, and commanded that the work of  Raymond alone should be considered authoritative, and should alone be used in the schools. When Raymond completed his work the Pope appointed him Archbishop of Tarragona, but the saint declined the honour. Having edited the 'Decretales' he returned to Spain. He was not allowed to remain long in seclusion, as he was elected General of the Order in 1238; but he resigned two years later.

During his tenure of office he published a revised edition of the 'Dominican Constitutions', and it was at his request that Thomas Aquinas completed his 'Summa Contra Gentiles'.

He died at Barcelona, 6 January, 1275.
Raymond was beatified by Pope Pius V and canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601, city-patron of Barcelona (1647) and patron of the judges in Canon Laws. At the request of his superiors Raymond published the 'Summa Casuum', his 'Summa de Poenitentia et Matrimonio'
of which several editions appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.



Pope Gregory IX receives 'The Decretals' from Raymond of Penafort.

Fresco by Raffaelo Santi (06.04.1583-06.04.1620) in the 'Stanza della
signatura di Grazie' in the Vatican
Palace at Rome.


Ajman 1972, Mi 2214.





This miniature 'Saint Francis preaches to the birds' is painted on a parchment
with the
handwriting of Raymond of Penafort.

It is preserved in the library of the University of Liege, 14th century.


Austria 1982, Mi 1703, Sc 1209.





Raymond of Penafort was a wise and holy confessor (so for the Spanish
King Jaime I and Pope Gregory IX) and wrote various works for the

of confessors and canonists. In art he is pictured holding his guidance
 of confessors and a key, the symbol of confession. 
(Mary Jean Dorcy, O.P.)

At  the top of the painting the words: Diligite iustitiam qui iudicatis
terram. Primo capitulo liber Sapientiae. (Sapientia 1.1.).
n the background many books with titles. Tabla Catalana,
by anonymous, XVI
th century, preserved in the Museo Diocesano, Vich, Spain.


Spain 1963, Mi 1417, Sc 1186.



Raymond of Penafort (1175/1180-06.01.1275) is buried in the old cathedral
of Saint Severus, Barcelona, in a marble sarcophagus, 14th  century.

This church was rebuildt from 1317-1441 and is now
the present cathedral. There on
e finds Raymond’s


Spain 1998, Mi Bl 72; Sc 2954.







Fresco by Raffaelo Santi (06.04.1583-06.04.1620) 'Raymond receives
the approbated 'Book of Decretals'
in the 'Stanza della Signatura di Grazie',
of the Vatican
Palace at Rome.


Vatican City 1935, Mi 48-50, Sc 44-46. This stamp is Mi 49, Sc 45.







History of the city of San Ramón.

San Ramón’s history begins with the arrival of the European settlers in this part of the central valley in the early 1840’s. These primary colonizers established traditional farms in the area, many of which are either still operational or have since been converted to the cultivation of the region's three main export crops: Tropical ornamentals, sugar cane, and coffee.

The name San Ramón was bestowed by two prominent figures in the establishment of the town, Ramon Solís and Ramon Rodriguez who placed the area under the protection of Saint Raymond. In 1854 the village of San Ramón de los Palmares was elevated in status to municipality then, in 1856, five schools were funded which was the beginning of the Municipality of San Ramón's legacy as the main educational, and later commercial, hub of the canton. Since 1876 San Ramón has also served as the governmental center of Alajuela Province's second largest district which is also named San Ramón.


First centenary of the foundation of San Ramón.                           On order.

Costa Rica 1944, Mi 342-344, Sc 233-235.



In the city of San José the church of San Ramon is dedicated
to Raymond of Penafort (1175/1180-06.01.1275).


Costa Rica 1967, Mi 733,853; Sc C465, C574.
                           This stamp: Mi 733, Sc C465.







Charter of the Colegio of San Ramón in Leon,
Nicaragua, 1792


Nicaragua 1993, Mi 3186, Sc 1948.









Return to   REGISTER    A       Return to   HOMEPAGE