Saint Pennafort Raymond De, a Spanish canonist, born in the castle of Pennafort, near Barcelona, in 1175, died in that city, Jan. 6, 1275. He opened a free school of philosophy in his native city at the age of 20, went to Bologna to perfect himself In theology and canon law, and was appointed professor there.
Berenger, bishop of Barcelona, recalled him, and appointed him archdeacon of his cathedral, and he joined the friars preachers in 1222. Soon afterward by order of his superiors he composed his Summa Casuum Conscientim, the first known compendium of moral theology. Among the distinguished men who chose him for spiritual adviser were St. Peter Nolasco, with whom he cooperated in founding' the order of mercy for the redemption of captives, and James I., king of Aragon, whom he induced to separate from his wife Eleonora of Castile because she was his first cousin. In 1230 he was invited to Rome by Pope Gregory IX., and appointed private chaplain and grand penitentiary. By the pope's direction, he made a collection of the papal decretal letters since 1150, the year with which Gratian's compilation closed. In 1135 he declined the archbishopric of Tarragona, and was allowed to return to his convent in Spain. He became general of his order in 1238, revised its constitutions and rule, and introduced some ameliorations, which were adopted by the general chapter. In 1240 he resigned his office, and devoted himself to preaching.
He was instrumental in establishing the inquisition in Aragon and southern France, and urged the kings of Aragon and Castile to undertake a crusade against the Moors, which resulted in their expulsion from the Balearic isles and the kingdom of Valencia. He promoted the study of Hebrew and Arabic in the Dominican schools, and directed Thomas Aquinas to write his Summa contra Gentes. He was canonized in 1601, and his feast is celebrated on Jan. 23. The collection of decretals made by Baymond de Pennafort is in five books. (See Canon Law, vol. iii., p. 719.) Besides the above named works, he also composed Summa de Pcenitentia et Matrimonio, of which the best edition is that by Laget (fob, Lyons, 1718, and Verona, 1744). His life was written in Latin by Penna (Rome, 1601), and in French by Touron, in vol. i. of Histoire des hommes illustres de Vordre de Saint Dominique (6 vols., Paris, 1743-'9).