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Peter of Castelnau, Bl.

PETER OF CASTELNAU, BL.

Legate, martyr; b. Château-Neuf, Montpellier, France; d. near Saint-Gilles, Belgium, Jan. 14, 1208. While Peter was archdeacon of Maguelonne (Montpellier), innocent iii made him papal legate to Languedoc to deal with the albigenses (1199). Peter gained the recantation of Raymond VI of Toulouse whose domains were rife with heresy. In 1202 Peter joined the cistercians at fontfroide abbey. In 1207 Innocent III again made him legate to cope with Raymond, who had lapsed. With the support of the nobles of Provence and Languedoc, Peter issued a bull of excommunication and placed Raymond's domains under interdict, thus bringing him to submission. On January 15, a henchman of Raymond assassinated Peter. This led to the Albigensian Crusade led by Simon de Montfort l'Amaury. Peter is honored as a martyr in the Midi dioceses.

Feast: Jan. 15 (formerly March 5); Diocese of Nîmes, March 15.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum March 1:409415. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines Jusquá nos jours. (Paris 1935) 10. s. lenssen, Hagiologium cisterciense (Tilburg 194849) 1. b. griesser, "Rainer v. Fossanova," Cistercienser-Chronik (1953) 151167. k. spahr, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 195765) 8:354355.

[m. a. mulholland]

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