Today is the feast day of St. Raymond of Penafort. St. Raymond was a 12th century Spanish canon lawyer and co-founder of the Order Our Lady of the Rescue of Captives, and founded several schools of Oriental languages in order to convert the Moors. He dedicated much of his life both in service to the Church — especially in the development of the sacrament of penance — but also in service of those enslaved and forgotten.
When I Googled St. Raymond today, I wound up on the website of a parish named after him, on which there was posted an apt quote from “Humanae Vitae” on the nature of married love.
“Conjugal love reveals its true nature and nobility when it is considered in its supreme origin, God, who is love…This love is first of all fully human… It is not, then, a simple transport of instinct and sentiment, but also, and principally, an act of the free will, intended to endure and to grow by means of the joys and sorrows of daily life, in such a way that husband and wife become one only heart and one only soul, and together attain their human perfection.” (par. 8-9).
A bit further on, this document identifies four characteristics of authentic Christian marriage: It is entered into freely, as a complete and total gift of self, in complete fidelity, and is ordered toward fruitfulness (either biological or spiritual).
Have you ever read Humanae Vitae? Consider doing it this week. You can read it in its entirety online here.
Note: Tomorrow’s link is on the main page — 20 of the most famous love stories in history and literature. My favorite is Abelard and Heloise . . . Which is yours?