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Saint John of Matha Statues of Felix of Valois and John of Matha. Charles Bridge, Prague. Confessor; Founder of the Trinitarians Born June 23, 1160 Faucon-de-Barcelonnette [1] Died December 17, 1213 Rome Venerated in Roman Catholic Church Canonized Cultus confirmed 21 October 1666 by Pope Alexander VII Feast December 17 Attributes purse, man in Trinitarian habit, with the white with blue and red cross on the breast, with chains in his hands or at his feet, captives near him, and his mitre at his feet Saint John of Matha was a Christian saint of the 12th century and founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. He was born on 1154 at Faucon-de-Barcelonnette [2], France. As a youth, he was educated at Aix-en-Provence, and later studied theology at the University of Paris. While in Paris, he was urged by a vision during his first mass to dedicate his life to the service of the captive Christian slaves. He offered service to and was instructed by the hermit, St. Felix of Valois, in the region of Soissons, and went to Rome with him in 1198. On December 17, 1198, he obtained the preliminary approval of Pope Innocent III for a new order dedicated in honour of the Blessed Trinity for the redemption of Christian captives. This order was fully approved in 1209. The Order of the Most Holy Trinity's first monastery was established at Cerfroid (just north of Paris) and the second at Rome. Christian slaves were first rescued by the Order in 1201. In 1202 and 1210 John travelled to Tunisia himself and brought back countless Christian slaves. St. John of Matha died on December 17, 1213 in Rome. In 1655, his relics were transferred from Rome to Madrid. His cultus was approved in 1665 and his feast day is December 17. DeMatha Catholic High School located in Hyattsville, Maryland is named after him. It is also sponsored by the Trinitarians. See also Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity External links Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Felix of Valois Catholic Encyclopedia: Order of Trinitarians References ^ [1] Diocèse catholique de Digne : Situé près de Barcelonnette, Faucon est le village de naissance de Saint Jean de Matha, fondateur de l'ordre des Trinitaires en 1193. À l’altitude de 1150 mètres, c'est le plus vieux village de la vallée de l'Ubaye. ^ [2] Diocèse catholique de Digne : Situé près de Barcelonnette, Faucon est le village de naissance de Saint Jean de Matha, fondateur de l'ordre des Trinitaires en 1193. À l’altitude de 1150 mètres, c'est le plus vieux village de la vallée de l'Ubaye. Holweck, F. G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. 1924.