In 1944, under the then Minister of Justice Eduardo Aunós, the Official State Gazette of 7 February 1944 published the Decree of 23 January of that year (feast of Saint Raymond of Peñafort, patron of lawyers) creating the Cross of Saint Raymond of Peñafort to reward merit in the field of Justice and distinguished civil deeds or important civil services in the field of Law, dedicating it to an outstanding Spaniard and chronicler.
It was created in memory of the excellent virtues of a worthy Spanish Dominican, confessor to kings and popes, illustrious chronicler and enlightened observer of the vast panorama of Law and of Morals.
It was his sense of the universal, his missionary zeal, his learned pen as a legislator and author of treatises which left a lasting imprint on the memories of the men and women who serve the Law.
Life of the Saint
Of a noble family, Saint Raymond of Peñafort was born around 1175-1185 in the manor house of Peñafort, in the Penedés area (Barcelona). He soon showed extraordinary intelligence. At the age of twenty he was already a professor of philosophy in Barcelona, and at thirty took a doctorate at the prestigious University of Bologna (Italy), where he completed his studies in civil and canonical law.
At 37 he entered the Dominican Order, rising to be the Third Master General of the Order of Preachers in 1238.
He died in Barcelona, on 6 January 1275. He was the first saint to be canonised in the present Basilica of the Vatican by Clement VIII, on 29 April 1601. On 14 July 1648 he was declared the patron of the city of Barcelona.
Portrait of the Saint
The Crosses are awarded for services provided and the contribution to the development and perfection of Law and Jurisprudence, among:
They can be awarded to Spaniards and to foreign nationals.
The Medals reward years of service, without unfavourable reports, in the legal and administrative professions within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. Their granting and use is compatible with the awarding of any of the other classes of this decoration.
Regulatory reservation. Form of certifying the award
The granting of the Grand Cross, the highest ranking decoration in the Order, will take the form of a Royal Decree, which will be approved by the Government Cabinet upon being proposed by the Minister of Justice. It will be published in the Official State Gazette (BOE). Its number is closed and its granting corresponds to very special circumstances and merits.
The granting of the other decorations is by Ministerial Order and will be published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of Justice.
To certify the granting of the decoration, the corresponding title will be issued, authorised with the signature of the Minister of Justice and approved by the Undersecretariat for Justice.
Procedure for award
The Chancellery of the Order of Saint Raymond of Peñafort, part of the Undersecretariat for Justice through the Division Pardons and other Rights, opens the file on the request of the proponents, and after analysing the merits of the candidates and their suitability in terms of the standards of the Chancellery of the Order, collects the "placet" of the Ministry of the Presidency in case of legal incompatibility with other civil decorations awarded to the same person.
Proceedings having been instituted, the file is submitted for the consideration of the Undersecretariat for Justice for processing, as appropriate, as a Ministerial Order or as a Royal Decree (Grand Cross).
They are awarded ordinarily on two specific dates:
Exceptionally, when a relevant event makes it appropriate.
The insignias of the different degrees of this Order are according to the models shown in the Galería (PDF. 1,38 MB).