Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

January 7 | Kindness

Saint Raymund of Peñafort

January 6, 1175 - January 6, 1275

Kindness reveals the essence of our humanity. It is the ability to bring the goodness of God into any situation through our thoughts, words, and actions.

Kindness is rarely thought of as a virtue in our aggressive and hostile culture, but its power is unfathomable. The future of humanity is dependent on the selfless caring we call kindness.

Saint Raymund of Peñafort also lived in a hostile culture, during the time of the crusades when tensions between Christians, Muslims, and Jews were at an all-time high. But Raymund did not choose the path of trying to “defeat” other religious groups. Instead, he chose the path of kindness. While others looked at Muslims and Jews as the enemy, Saint Raymund knew that understanding was the path to peace. So he founded schools for the study of Arabic and Hebrew. 

It is an incredible act of kindness to invest time in understanding where someone else is coming from. As we understand others more and more, our attitude naturally becomes less hostile and more compassionate. 

Perhaps it was Saint Raymund’s outstanding reputation of kindness that led the pope himself to choose Raymund as his confessor. He was also tasked with writing the Summa Casuum, a guide for confessors that urges priests to truly care for the people in their confessional.

Few things are so powerful as kindness. It turns enemies into friends, conflicts into peace, and ignorance into understanding. Saint Raymund's life is a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of a kind word, thought or deed.

Who are some people I don’t get along with that I could seek to understand more fully? Who will I be extraordinarily kind to today?

I will not underestimate the power of a kind word, thought or deed.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Barcelona and Lawyers

Symbols: Sailing Across the Sea on his Cape

Feast Day: January 7

Feast Day Shared by: St. Lucian, St. Polieuto, and the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Canonized: April 29, 1601

Canonized by: Pope Clement VIII

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