Pierre de Castelnau  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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.

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.

He was beatified in the year of his death by Pope Innocent III, who held Raymond responsible.

His death is also portrayed in Elizabeth Chadwick's work of historical fiction, "Daughters of the Grail".

The relics of Pierre de Castelnau are interred in the church of the ancient Abbey of St-Gilles.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pierre de Castelnau" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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