Nolasque, St Piere
Nolasque, St. Piere a French monk, founder of the order of the Beata Maria Virgo de Mercede pro Redenmptione Captivorum, was born in 1189 at Le Mas des Saintes Puelles, in Languedoc. In 1228, Nolasque, in company with some other knights and priests, organized the order mentioned above, the special object of which was to redeem Christian captives in Mohammedan countries in extreme cases, when there was danger of a conversion to Islam, even with the sacrifice of liberty and life. At first the order occupied a portion of the royal palace at Barcelona, but in 1232 a splendid monastery was built and dedicated to St. Eulalia, the patroness of Barcelona. The order was confirmed by Gregory IX, in 1230, and soon spread over Spain, Italy, and France. Nolasque died in 1256, and was canonized by Urban VIII in 1628. By Benedict XIII, the order was transformed into a common mendicant order (1725), and a century later it was swept away by the revolution. See Acta Sanctorum Bolland. ad 31. Jan. 2:980 sq.; Holstenius-Brockie, Codex Regularuma Monasticarum, 3:433 sq.; Helyot, Histoire des Ordres Monastiques (Paris, 1714-19); Giucci, Iconografia Storica Degli Ordini Religiosi, etc. (Rome, 1844), 7:88 sq.; Gams, Kirchengeschichte Spaniens, 3:236-239; Plitt-Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v. (B.P.).