Born to the French nobility. Grew up a pious youth. His father died when Peter was fifteen, and he inherited a substantial fortune. When he came of age, he gave away his possessions and moved to Barcelona, Spain to avoid the Albigensian heretics. He later took part in the Crusades against the Albigensians in southern France. Tutor to King James I of Aragon. Settled in Barcelona. Friend of Saint Raymond Penyafort. He used his large inheritance to ransom Christians held prisoner by the Moors. Founded the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians) beginning in 1218, an order devoted to ransoming Christians; the Order received papal approval in 1230. Peter twice served as a captive in Africa, winning the release of over 400 captives. In 1249, Peter retired from the Order to spend his remaining days in quiet prayer.