St. Yves, Priest and Lawyer | Saint of the Day | May 19

Prayer to St. Yves, Priest and Lawyer

God, You taught Your Church to observe all the heavenly commandments in the love of God. Help us to practice works of charity in imitation of Your Priest, St. Yves, and merit to be numbered among the blessed in Your Kingdom. Amen.

St. Yves, Priest and Lawyer

Patron of Lawyers

Born around 1253 at Kermartin in Brittany, St. Yves (Ivo) Helory was sent to Paris by his landowning father to receive a higher education, and at the end of ten years he had gained distinction in Philosophy, Theology, and Canon Law, as well as Civil Law. On his return to Brittany he was appointed a diocesan judge, first to the Bishop of Rennes and later to the Bishop of Treguier. In this capacity, he carried out his duties with equity, incorruptibility, and concern for the poor and lowly.

Yve’s fame quickly spread and he became known as “the poor man’s advocate.” He pleaded for the poor in other courts, going so far as pay their expenses and even visiting them in prison; his constant concern was to obtain justice for all. accordingly, he constantly tried to reconcile quarreling parties and have them arrive at an amicable agreement without incurring the cost of unnecessary lawsuits.

In 1284, Yves became a priest and from 1287 on devoted himself to parish work. But he made his legal knowledge ever available to any of his parishioners who needed it. He lived frugally and unassumingly, instructed the people in both spiritual and temporal matters, and preached the Word of God with power. On May 19, 1303, this “attorney who was a holy man” appeared before the Ultimate Judge to receive his reward. He was canonized in 1347 by Pope Clement VI.