Ivo was born in Kermartin, Brittany, France, around 1253, the son of a local lord. His devout mother saw to his primary education in the Faith. At fourteen, he began his studies at Paris in philosophy, theology, and canon law. Afterward, he went to Orleans to study civil law.
Around 1280, Ivo was made judge of the Church court in Rennes. At this time, the ecclesiastical courts had broad jurisdiction; many crimes were tried before diocesan judges. From the first, Ivo was an impartial judge, impervious to bribes. When possible, he helped litigants to settle out of court. In his free time he did pro bono work, defending widows and orphans, or visiting the prisons to console the convicted.
In 1284, Ivo was ordained a priest and made ecclesiastical judge at Treguier. Three years later he was sent to a parish at Lovannec. There he helped to build a hospital where he served the sick himself He continued to use his skills in the law to negotiate peace between discordant parties. He also moved hearts with his preaching, delivering up to seven sermons a day. Ivo died in 1303, having just preached Mass for the vigil of the Ascension. (Excerpt taken from Magnificat magazine March 2016, Vol 17, Number 13)
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