St. Ivo of Kermartin

St. Ivo of Kermartin, T.O.S.F. (17 October 1253 – 19 May 1303), also known Yvo, Yves, or Ives, was a parish priest among the poor of Louannec, the only one of his station to be canonized in the Middle Ages. In 1267 Ivo was sent to the Faculty of Law of Paris (University of Paris), where he graduated in civil law. While other students caroused, Ivo studied, prayed and visited the sick. He also refused to eat meat or drink wine. On his return to Brittany, having received minor orders he was appointed an “official”, the title given to an ecclesiastical judge, of the archdeanery of Rennes (1280). He protected orphans and widows, defended the poor, and rendered fair and impartial verdicts. It is said that even those on the losing side respected his decisions. Ivo also represented the helpless in other courts, paid their expenses and visited them in prison. Meanwhile, he studied Scripture, and there are strong reasons for believing the tradition held among Franciscans that he joined the Third Order of St. Francis sometime later at Guingamp. Ivo was ordained to the priesthood in 1284. He is the patron of Brittany, lawyers, and abandoned children. Poetically, he is referred to as “Advocate of the Poor”.


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