St Ivo of Kermartin


Brother Ivo has chosen to take his name from the 13th Century Breton ordinand and jurist  St Ivo of Kermartin

The son of a nobleman, he was initially a student of Law whose ascetic nature saw him avoid the usual temptations of student life in favour of visiting the poor and the sick. He later took minor holy orders in which he was faithful and fervent in prayer. He gave alms generously to those in need and was appointed to the judiciary where he was known and respected as incorruptible and scrupulously fair, even by those who lost their cases before him.

He was an early pro bono lawyer who became known as the “Advocate of the Poor” and made his name for his skillful pleading of an unjust case brought by fraudsters against a vulnerable widow.

He resisted taxation by the King and became the patron saint of Abandoned Children, Lawyers and Britanny.

Ivo was canonised  in June 1347 by Clement VI.

On the 700th anniversary of his birth,  Pope John Paul II said,

“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.”

His feast day is celebrated on the 19th May

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