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St. Peter Nolasco


January 28

Peter Nolasco, born of a noble family at Recaudun near Carcassonne in France, was bereaved of his parents in his youth. Loathing the heresy of the Albigenses, he divided his patrimony and went to Spain. There, as he was praying one night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and suggested that it would be most pleasing to Her Son and to Herself to have a religious order founded for the purpose of freeing those taken captive in the power of unbelievers.

And so, together with St. Raymund of Pennafort and James I, king of Aragon, who had been told the same thing by the Mother of God on the very same night, he established the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the redemption of captives, the members taking a fourth vow to remain as hostages in the power of pagans if this were needed to free Christians.

He was often cheered by apparitions of his guardian Angel and of the Virgin Mother of God; and when he had attained a good old age, he died a holy death in the middle of the night of the Vigil of Christmas, in the year 1256.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), p. 1729.

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Epistle and Gospel for January 28