Pierre de Castelnau

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"Peire de Castelnou" redirects here. For the troubadour, see Peire de Castelnou (troubadour).
St Gilles - Church, October 2006

Pierre de Castelnau (died 15 January 1208), French ecclesiastic, was born in the diocese of Montpellier.

In 1199 he was archdeacon of Maguelonne, and was appointed by Pope Innocent III as one of the legates for the suppression of the Cathar heresy in Languedoc.[1]

In 1202, when a monk in the Cistercian abbey of Fontfroide, Narbonne, he was designated to similar work, first in Toulouse, and afterwards at Viviers and Montpellier.

In 1207 he was in the Rhone valley and in Provence, where he became involved in the strife between the count of Baux and Raymond, count of Toulouse. Castelnau was assassinated on 15 January 1208, quite possibly by an agent of Raymond. His murder was the immediate cause of Raymond's excommunication and the start of the Albigensian Crusade.[2]

He was beatified in the year of his death by Pope Innocent III, who held Raymond responsible. The relics of Pierre de Castelnau are interred in the church of the ancient Abbey of St-Gilles.[3]


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Blessed Pierre de Castelnau". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ Zoe Oldenbourg. The Massacre at Montsegur. A History of the Albigensian Crusade. Phoenix, 2006. p. 3,4. ISBN 1-84212-428-5. 
  3. ^ "http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Blessed_Pierre_de_Castelnau" Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Bl. Pierre de Castelnau


  • Graham-Leigh, Elaine. The Southern French Nobility and the Albigensian Crusade. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005. ISBN 1-84383-129-5
  • De la Bouillerie, Le Bienheureux Pierre de Castelnau et les Albigeois au XIII' siècle (Paris, 1866).
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.