St. Peter Nolasco
Born in Barcelona, Spain, 1189.
At 15, he suffers the death of his father and is ready to share their many blessings to sanctify what her mother nods.
Years later, being of marriageable age, a pilgrimage to Montserrat. There, at the foot of the Virgin, could understand the emptiness of worldly vanities and the treasure of eternal life. He promised then to the Virgin kept pure and devoted to your service.
Those were the times that Muslims had looted the coasts and Christians as slaves to Africa. The horrible condition of these victims was indescribable. So many were losing faith believing that God had abandoned them. Pedro Nolasco was a merchant. Decided to dedicate his fortune to the release of the greatest number of slaves. He remembered the words of the gospel: "Do not store their fortune in this land where thieves to steal and moth devours and rust to corrode. Store their wealth in heaven, where no thieves who steal, neither moth nor rust devour that the damage "Mt 6:20.
In 1203 the San Pedro Nolasco lay in Valencia began the redemption of captives, redeeming his own heritage to 300 captives. Form a group willing to share their goods and organizes expeditions to negotiate redemptions. Its status as traders facilitates their work. They traded to rescue slaves. When they ran the money-form groups, guilds to raise the "alms for the captives." But there comes a time when aid is exhausted. Peter Nolasco is raised in a religious order to enter or be in the desert. Entered a period of reflection and deep prayer.
Intervention of the Virgin for the foundation
On the night of 1 to 2 August 1218, the Virgin appeared to Peter Nolasco. According to a dubious tradition, also the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Raymond of Penafort, and King James I of Aragon, and reported three separate his desire to found an order to redeem captives.
The fact is that Mary's heart deeply moved Pedro Nolasco to found the Order of Merced and formalize the work that he and his bandmates were already for 15 years. On August 10, 1218 at the high altar of the Cathedral of Barcelona, in the presence of King James I of Aragon and Bishop Berenguer de Palou, establishing the new institution. Peter and his companions received the habit and received the shield with four red stripes on a yellow background of the Crown of Aragon and the white cross on red background, head of the cathedral of Barcelona. Pedro Nolasco Blessed always recognized as the true founder of Our Lady of Mercy order. The patron is Our Lady of Mercy. "Merced" means "mercy".The order is also known as the Royal and Military Order of Our Lady of Mercy of the Redemption of the Captives or the Mercedarians.(More about La Virgen de la Merced and San Nolasco).
The new order was secular in the early days. Its first location was the hospital of Santa Eulalia, near the royal palace. They gathered to indigent prisoners and returning from Moorish lands and had nowhere to go. They continued the work that had previously done to raise awareness about the captives and raise money for their release. They were often accompanied by ex-prisoners, because when one was rescued, was required to participate for a while in this service. Normally each year on expeditions were redemptive. San Pedro continued his personal journey in search of Christian slaves. In Algeria, Africa, he was taken prisoner but managed to win their freedom. Taking advantage of his gifts as a merchant, organized successful collections by many cities to the slaves.
The monks were, besides the three vows of religious life, poverty, chastity and obedience, a fourth, devoting his life to free slaves. On entering the order the members undertook to stay instead of a captive who was in danger of losing faith, if that money does not reach to pay the redemption. Among those who remained as slaves is San Pedro Ermengol, a nobleman who entered the order after a dissolute youth. This fourth vow distinguished the new community of Merced.
Nono approved by Pope Gregory the community and Saint Pedro Nolasco was named Superior General.
King James said that if he had succeeded in conquering the city of Valencia, this was due to the prayers of Peter Nolasco. Every time I got a victory he attributed to the prayers of this saint.
Before he died, at age 77 (on December 25 of 1258), delivered the Psalm 76: "Thou, O God, and do wonders, you showed your power to the people and with your arm that has rescued the captives were enslaved .
His intercession did many miracles, and Pope Urban VIII declared him a saint in 1628. He is in the Roman Martyrology.
Father almighty may the life
of your servant Peter Nolasco
help us get closer to the Eucharist
by going to your Divine Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.