St Ives of Tréguier (1253-1303) - judge, advocate and priest
Feast Day: 19 May

A saint who sprang from the earliest days of the university and the modern legal profession, his example has continued to inspire lawyers across the centuries.

"A new star which is rising in the sky of Brittany."

Pope Clement VII, announcing the canonization of St Ives at Avignon on 19 May 1347.

"For all who exercise a legal profession, whose patron saint he is, he remains the voice of justice, which is ordained to reconciliation and peace in order to create new relations among individuals and communities and build a more impartial society. I give thanks for the shining example he offers to Christians today, and on a broader scale, to all people of good will, inviting them to walk on paths of justice, of respect for the law and of solidarity with the poor, to serve the truth and to take part in "a new creativity in charity" (Novo Millennio Ineunte, n. 50)."

Pope John Paul II in a message celebrating St Ives' 700th anniversary, 13 May 2003.

"I have never been totally sure of myself when I pronounce a judgment. This conference and the journey of the "Grand Pardon" have made me understand that I must change the way I look at the people who are before me and that I must first, as St Ives did, love them, understand them and feel solidarity with them no matter what the reasons for their being before me."

A senior French judge, reflecting on the festival or "Grand Pardon" for St Ives' 700th anniversary. Written in a letter to Bishop Fruchaud of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier and quoted by the Bishop in his homily in October 2003 for the conclusion of the celebrations.

Ives Hélory (Erwan in Breton, Yves in French) was born in 1248 on the promontory of Brittany, which was then an independent country, a tense buffer state between France and England.  His parents were minor nobles, presiding over the chateau of Kermartin near Tréguier, and he had a brother and 3 sisters (1).  


1.  Thierry Hamon, "Saint Ives' Will" ("Le testament de Saint Yves"), in the journal "Armorik", no. 1, May 2003, p. 143. 



© C. Warren 

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