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Patron saint of abandoned children, lawyers and Brittany, St. Ivo of Kermartin was a legal expert with a sterling reputation as a defender of the poor. Born in 1253, he was a parish priest for nearly 20 years. He was known for fully prostrating himself at the alter and praying fervently on his knees.

Ivo was trained as a lawyer and appointed a judge in the Rennes diocese. This entailed decision-making in civil, family, and probate law.

A well-known preacher and teacher, Ivo was never without his Bible and breviary. He especially enjoyed working with the poor even establishing pro-bono legal-aid groups to aid the less fortunate. Another specialty of his was arbitration. He founded a hospice and helped assist patients.

Ivo’s health declined during Lent in 1303. He continued his duties until death in May of that year. He was canonized in 1347. His feast day is May 19.

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