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Saint of the Day for 6 May: St. Peter Nolasco

St. Peter Nolasco: Founder of the Order of Mercede and Redeemer of the Wicked


St. Peter Nolasco


Founder of the Mercedarians


year 1189, Carcassone (France)


Dec. 25, 1256, Barcelona


6 May


2004 edition


1628, Rome, Pope Urban VIII


O glorious St. Peter Nolasco founder of the Mercedarian Order, who set as the foundation of your religious family love of God and neighbor, lived in the most faithful imitation of Christ the Redeemer, guide my steps on this day so that I may know how to reach out to my needy brothers and sisters who are oppressed and persecuted. Impart to me the insight to discover the sufferings and chains that enslave them in body and spirit. Obtain for me from the Lord the most complete f freedom of heart and mind, that I may be able to imitate you in charity that knows no limits and is ready even to the sacrifice of life. Amen.

Roman Martyrology

Saint Peter Nolasco Confessor, Founder of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede for the Redemption of Slaves: fell asleep in the Lord on December twenty-fifth.


The Saint and Mission

St. Peter Nolasco, who lived in the 13th century, is an extraordinary example of how Christian mission can manifest itself in profoundly transformative ways for society. Guided by a divine vision and a feeling of deep compassion for human pain, Nolasco founded the Order of Mercede with the specific goal of redeeming Christians enslaved by the Moors. His action was not limited to physical liberation, but was also an act of spiritual mercy, aiming to restore the dignity and freedom of belief of the oppressed people. St. Peter Nolasco’s commitment was a clear reflection of his deep ethical and spiritual commitment, which led him to risk his own life and resources to save others. His dedication not only had an immediate impact on the lives he directly touched, but also laid the foundation for a movement of redemption that has continued for centuries. This mission, rooted in Christian love and human solidarity, highlights how faith can inspire courageous and generous actions, demonstrating that service to others is one of the purest expressions of the Gospel.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Peter Nolasco is a shining example of how mercy can take concrete form and profoundly transform people’s lives. In founding the Order of Mercede, Nolasco did not simply express sympathy for those suffering far from home and in conditions of slavery; he turned that compassion into action, personally engaging in the liberation of Christian prisoners. His approach to mercy was radical and practical: raising funds, negotiating with captors, and even offering himself as a hostage in exchange for the release of others. This commitment went beyond simple charity, touching the heart of evangelical love, which calls to see Christ in every suffering person and to respond to their need by any means possible. The life of St. Peter Nolasco shows us that mercy is not just a feeling of pity or compassion, but an active commitment to alleviate the suffering of others, a commitment that may require significant personal sacrifice. His story continues to inspire, reminding us that true mercy is always accompanied by courageous and concrete action.

The Order of St. Mary of Mercede

The Order of St. Mary of Mercede, founded in the 13th century by St. Peter Nolasco, grew out of a vision deeply rooted in the heart of Christian mercy. Established for the specific purpose of liberating Christians captured during the wars of reconquest in Spain, the order embodied an extremely tangible principle of charity and sacrifice. These religious did not simply pray for prisoners or raise funds for their ransom; many of them volunteered to serve as hostages in exchange for the freedom of imprisoned Christians. Their dedication to the ransom cause manifested a deep understanding of the Gospel, putting into practice Jesus’ teaching to “lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Through their work, the Order of St. Mary of Mercede has not only offered physical liberation but also brought hope and spiritual renewal to many, demonstrating how love and mercy can indeed transform the darkest situations of despair into stories of redemption and light.


S. Peter Nolasco was born of a noble family in Recaud near Carcassone in France in the year 1189 and, from his childhood, distinguished himself by the singular charity he had toward his neighbor. There was an omen of these virtues when, crying while still a baby in his cradle, a swarm of bees flew over him and…


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