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St. Peter Nolasco
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St. Peter Nolasco

 About St. Peter Nolasco

Saint Peter Nolasco lived during the thirteenth century at a time when the Moors controlled most of Spain.  They often carried out raids from their ships and kidnapped thousands of Christians.  The Moors held the Christians as slaves along the Granada coast in Africa.

Saint Peter Nolasco Vowed to Help Slaves

Saint Peter Nolasco pitied the captive Christians and made it his mission to help them in whatever way he could.  Saint Peter was born in Carcassone, France in 1189 but moved to Barcelona to flee from the blatant heresy of Southern France. 
He donated his entire fortune to helping the Christian slaves taken to Africa.  Saint Peter Nolasco even thought about becoming a slave himself, so he could help relieve their suffering.

 Saint Peter Nolasco

 Blessed Virgin Appeared to Saint Peter Nolasco

 Saint Peter Nolasco felt powerless to help the Christian slaves since he had no money left.  At this point, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him saying, “Find for me other men like yourself, an army of brave, generous, unselfish men, and send them into the lands where the children of the Faith are suffering.”

Saint Peter Nolasco Founder

After his vision, Saint Peter went to see St. Raymond or Pennafort, asking him to help convince King James I of Aragon to support a new order.  His hopes were realized on August 10, 1218 when Saint Peter Nolasco and two other men became the first members of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom.  The new order was dedicated to recovering and helping the enslaved Christians.  All the men of the order promised to deliver themselves into captivity if necessary, in exchange for the Christians.

The Order of Our Lady of Ransom Spread

Saint Peter Nolasco’s order spread quickly.  Saint Peter and the other brothers visited all of Christian Spain, enlisting new members and collecting donations to pay ransoms.
When they collected enough funds to pay the ransoms, Saint Peter Nolasco began negotiating with the slave traders and owners.  They traveled to Andalusia, Turis, and Morocco, freeing shiploads of Christians.  In the process of recovering the Christians, Saint Peter Nolasco also converted many Moors.

Saint Peter Nolasco Died on Christmas

On the evening of December 25, 1256, Saint Peter Nolasco died after a lengthy illness.  He was canonized in 1628 by Pope Urban VIII.

 The Order of Our Lady of Ransom continues the work of Saint Peter Nolasco today but is now dedicated to hospital work and preaching faith in Jesus Christ.
 
The feast of Saint Peter Nolasco is celebrated on January 28.  Many Catholics wear a Saint Peter Nolasco medal or a Saint Peter Nolasco pendant in memory of this saint who freed thousands of Christians from slavery.
 St. Peter Nolasco Medal Pendant

 

 

Saint Peter Nolasco


 

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