Saint Ivo of Kermartin

detail of stained glass window of Saint Ivo of Kermartin; date unknown, artist unknown; church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, Étrelles, France; photographed on 28 May 2014 by GO69; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Advocate of the Poor
  • Ivo Helory
  • Ivo Herloi
  • Ivo of Helory
  • Ives….
  • Yves….
  • Yvo….



Born to a wealthy Breton noble family. From age 14 he studied civil and canon lawyer, philosophy, and theology in Paris and Orleans. Franciscan tertiary. Lawyer who practised in both civil and ecclesiastical courts, often defending the poor without charge, and ministering to them in prison while they awaited trial. Practised great personal ascetism, with frequent fasts, and wearing a hair shirt under his clothing. Fought the state over taxes and the rights of the Church. Incorruptible diocesan judge, refusing the bribes that were the order of the day, and working to settle claims out of court in order to save the litigants time and money. Ordained in 1284. He resigned his legal position in 1287 to tend to his parishioners at Tredez and Lovannec. Noted preacher and arbitor, he built a hospital from his own funds, tended the poor in it, and gave away the harvests from his land to feed them. Miracle worker, feeding hundreds from a single loaf of bread.







Sanctus Ivo erat Brito,
Advocatus, et non latro
Res miranda populo.

Saint Yvo was a Breton and a lawyer,
But not dishonest –
An astonishing thing in people’s eyes.

– from a 14th century description of Saint Ivo

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Ivo of Kermartin“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 August 2021. Web. 28 October 2021. <>