Saint Pierre Nolasque
Fondateur de l'ordre de Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci (+ 1258)
Saint Peter Nolasco. La Merced, Murcia.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, en San Ildefonso (Segovia)
olio su tela; Madrid, Museo del Prado
Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at Barcelona, on Christmas Day, 1256 (or 1259). He was of a noble family and from his youth was noted for his piety, almsgiving, andcharity. Having given all his possessions to the poor, he took a vow of virginity and, to avoid communication with the Albigenses, went to Barcelona.
Allaria, Anthony. "St. Peter Nolasco." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 28 Jan. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11770b.htm>.
Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Iglesia y Ex Convento de la Merced (Tarazona)
- Peter Nolascus
- 25 December
- 6 May (Mercedarians)
- formerly 28 January (from 1969 to 2001)
- formerly 31 January (prior to 1969)
Born to the French nobility. Grew up a pious youth. His father died when Peter was fifteen, and he inherited a substantial fortune. When he came of age, he gave away his possessions and moved to Barcelona, Spain to avoid the Albigensian heretics. He later took part in the Crusades against the Albigensians in southern France. Tutor to King James I of Aragon. Settled in Barcelona. Friend of Saint Raymond Penyafort. He used his large inheritance to ransom Christians held prisoner by the Moors. Founded the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians) beginning in 1218, an order devoted to ransoming Christians; the Order received papal approval in 1230. Peter twice served as a captive in Africa, winning the release of over 400 captives. In 1249, Peter retired from the Order to spend his remaining days in quiet prayer.
Born at Mas-des-Saintes Puelles (Languedoc), France, (or Barcelona, Spain?) c. 1189; died in Barcelona, Spain, December 25, 1258; canonized in 1628; feast extended to the universal Church in 1664; feast day formerly on January 31. Peter Nolasco's family was either mercantile or a distinguished one, possessing great estates, all of which Peter inherited at age 15 upon the death of his father. It is said that he consecrated himself to a life of celibacy and service to the poor when he was still quite young. At his father's death he went to Barcelona, Spain, and quickly exhausted his entire estate paying ransoms to the Moors of Spain for the release of Christian prisoners. (Tabor relates that he was one of the converts of Saint John of Matha.)
Saint Peter, of the noble family of Nolasco, was born in Languedoc, about 1189. At the age of twenty-five he took avow of chastity, and made over his vast estates to the Church. Some time after, he conceived the idea of establishing an order for the redemption of captives. The divine will was soon manifested. The Blessed Virgin appeared on the same night to Peter, to Raymund of Pennafort, his confessor, and to James, King of Arragon, his ward, and bade them prosecute without fear their holy designs. After great opposition, the Order was solemnly established, and approved by Pope Gregory IX, under the name of Our Lady of Mercy. By the grace of God, and under the protection of His Virgin-Mother, the Order spread rapidly, its growth being increased by the charity and piety of its members, who devoted themselves not only to collecting alms for the ransom of the Christians, but even gave themselves up to voluntary slavery to aid the good work. It is to return thanks to God and the Blessed Virgin that a feast was instituted which was observed in the Order of Mercy, then in Spain and France, and at last extended to the whole Church by Pope Innocent XII, and the 24th September named as the day on which it is to be observed.
Reflection – Saint Peter Nolasco and his knights were laymen, not priests, and yet they considered the salvation of their neighbor intrusted to them. We can each of us by counsel, by prayer, but above all by holy example, assist the salvation of our brethren, and thus secure our own.
Autore: Angelo Montonati
SAN PEDRO NOLASCO