Peter (St) Nolasco

Peter (St.) Nolasco

(Sp. San Pedro Nolasco), a Romish saint, noted as the founder of "the Order of Our Lady of Mercy," flourished in the first half of the 13th century. He was the son of a noble of Languedoc, and became a convert of St, John de Matha. He was much cultivated, and greatly esteemed for his learning and application, and was made a tutor of the young king James of Aragon. As the needs of the crusaders called for help from various directions, Peter brought about the formation of the order above referred to. At first it was military, and consisted of knights and gentlemen. The king himself was placed at the head, and his arms served as a device or badge. Soon, however, the order became very popular, and extended itself on all sides. Peter Nolasco was the superior, and spent his life in expeditions to the provinces under the Moors, from which he brought back hundreds of redeemed captives. In time the order changed its character from that of a military to that of a religious institution, and as such exerted a wide influence. Peter himself, when he was old, was taken from his cell by angels, so the legend goes, and borne to and from the altar, where he received the holy Eucharist. In the paintings of the saints he is represented as old, with a white habit, and the shield of king James on his breast. His death is said to have occurred January 15, 1258. (J.H.W.)

Bible concordance for PETER.

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