Friday, July 17, 2009

St. Raymond of Penafort

You may be asking, if you saw my post at SmallPax today, why Dominican Saints are so awesome. The answer: I don't know.

Anyway, here's St. Raymond of Penafort. According to legend:

Aside from his scholarly pursuits, Raymond preached with untiring zeal to the Jews and Moors (Arab invaders of Spain). He also acted as spiritual director for King James of Aragon and Saint Peter Nolasco, whom he aided in founding the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians) for the ransom of captives from the Moors.

King James valued Raymond so highly that on several occasions he sent him on missions to the Holy See. At one time, however, he stoutly resisted Raymond's admonitions regarding chastity, and a miracle was required before the monarch consented to reform his life. This miracle took place during a visit to Majorca on which Raymond had accompanied the king in the hope of strengthening Christianity there. They had been on the island only a short time when Raymond discovered that the king was involved in a sinful love affair with a woman of the court. The king refused to listen to Raymond's protests, and when Raymond threatened to leave the island, the king threatened with death anyone who would give him passage.

Thereupon, or so it is said, Raymond spread his cloak on the water, set up his staff as a mast, and, having rigged up a corner of the cloak as a sail, boarded this miraculous "boat," setting his course for Barcelona. He arrived there the same day, having covered 140 miles in about six hours. A great crowd assembled at the waterfront witnessed the end of this marvelous voyage, which inspired numerous conversions.
Read more here. Though it isn't official, I would say he is the patron saint of windsurfing, having originated it.


  1. Oh, I mixed up St Raymond of Penafort with St John Capistran (the latter being a Franciscan and an Inquisitor who died in Belgrad preaching the Crusade against the Ottomans or Seljuks). Thanks for straighting out the error!

  2. Thanks for the illustration! St. Raymond is one of my two confirmation saints. With so many saints to choose from, I couldn't decide between St. Paul & St. Raymond. You can imagine my joy when I found that I could have two patrons at no extra charge.

  3. i love st raymond