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Thursday 19 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Peter Celestine
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: St. Ivo of Brittany

Patron Saint of Lawyers


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Priest (1253-1303)

His life

+ Ivo (who is also known as Yves) was born near Kermartin in the Duchy of Brittany (France). In 1267, he began to study law at the University of Paris.

+ During his time at the University of Paris, Saint Ivo was classmates with two great Franciscan thinkers: the philosopher Roger Bacon and Blessed John Duns Scotus, who is especially remembered for helping promote the Church’s teaching on the Immaculate Conception.

+ After completing his studies, he was appointed to serve as an ecclesiastical judge. He showed special care for the poor and was known for his fairness and sense of justice. He would also pay the expenses of those who could not afford a lawyer and would visit the prisons. He became known as the “Advocate of the Poor.”

+ Ordained a priest in 1284, he continued to practice law and his work as an ecclesiastical judge in addition to his work as a parish priest.

+ Saint Ivo died on May 19, 1303, and was canonized in 1347. Today, he is honored as the patron saint of Brittany, of lawyers, and of abandoned children.

For prayer and reflection

The values proposed by St Ivo retain an astonishing timeliness. His concern to promote impartial justice and to defend the rights of the poorest persons invites the builders of Europe today to make every effort to ensure that the rights of all, especially the weakest, are recognized and defended.”—Pope Saint John Paul II

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Blessed Raphaël Louis Rafiringa. Born in Madagascar, he entered the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1879. When all foreigners—including missionaries—were expelled from Madagascar, he stayed behind to help provide stability and leadership to the Christian community. Blessed Raphaël Louis died in 1919 and was beatified in 2009.


We humbly ask you, almighty God,
that at the intercession of blessed Ivo
you may multiply your gifts among us
and order our days in peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For One Pastor)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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