Blessed Pierre de Castelnau
|Born||Diocese of Montpellier, France|
|Died||15 January 1208|
Rhône valley, Provence, France
by Pope Innocent III
He was archdeacon of Maguelonne, and in 1199 was appointed by Pope Innocent III as one of the legates for the suppression of the Cathar heresy in Languedoc. In 1202, he became a Cistercian monk at the abbey of Fontfroide, Narbonne, and was confirmed as Apostolic legate and first inquisitor, 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 VI, Count of Toulouse. Castelnau was assassinated on 15 January 1208, possibly by an agent of Raymond, but this was never proved. Nevertheless, Pope Innocent III, held Raymond responsible. The murder was the immediate cause of Raymond's excommunication and the start of the Albigensian Crusade.