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Ramon de Penyafort is a saint especially known and remembered as one of the greatest specialists in canon law of history.

He was born in Santa Margarida i els Monjos, Penedès, in 1180. His father was the lord of the castle of Penyafort. Ordained at the age of 24, he was trained in canon law at the University of Bologna, where he became a teacher. There, he met the Order of the preachers, the Dominicans, to which he joined many years later. He was also a canon of the Barcelona’s cathedral.

In the legal environment he is recognized by his collection of Decretals, commissioned by the Pope Gregory IX, of whom he was the confessor, in 1230. The canon law was based in this compilation until the publication, in 1917, of the Code of Canon Law, under the pontificate of Pius X.

Back to Barcelona and being a good friend of King Jaume I, he developed a great task as a lawyer in Catalonia, Aragon and Mallorca. Later, during a short but intense period, he worked in the Dominican General Chapter in Paris. Thereafter, he returned to Barcelona, in Santa Caterina’s convent, where he remained for thirty five years.

He died in January 1275 and was buried in the convent of Santa Caterina, until in 1838 he was transferred to the cathedral of Barcelona, where he currently rests. Pope Clement VIII canonized him in 1601.

He is the patron of lawyers and the Church celebrates his memory on January 7.

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