Gregory IX Approving the Decretals
attributed to Raphael's workshop
This scene depicts Pope Gregory IX (pontiff 1227-1241) approving the Decretals received from St. Raymond de Penafort, a doctor of civil and canon law. Gregory IX summoned Raymond to Rome in 1230 to help in the rearranging and codifying of canon law.
Canon laws, which were previously found scattered in many publications, were to be organized into one set of documents. In particular papal decretal letters had been changing the law over the course of the previous 100 years since the publication of the Decretum Gratiani, the foundation for papal legal theory
Gregory IX decreed that the work of Raymond alone should be considered authoritative, and should alone be used at universities. His collection of canon law, known as the Liber extra or Gregorian Decretals, became a standard for almost 700 years.
IN this scene, the pontiff is a portrait of the pope who had commissioned the work, Julius II (pontiff from 1503 to 1513), while the cardinals beside him are Giovanni de' Medici and Alessandro Farnese, the future Popes Leo X (pontiff from 1513 to 1521) and Paul III (pontiff from 1534 to 1549).