Nuno Álvares Pereira

The Count of Barcelos, Ourém and Arraialos
Constable of Portugal
In office
6 April 1385 – 1 April 1431
MonarchJohn I of Portugal
Preceded byÁlvaro Pires de Castro
Succeeded byJohn of Portugal
Lord High Steward
In office
6 April 1385 – 1 April 1431
MonarchJohn I of Portugal
Preceded byGarcia Rodrigues de Taborda
Succeeded byDiogo Lopes de Sousa
Personal details
Born24 June 1360 (1360-06-24)
Died1 April 1431 (1431-05) (aged 70)
Convent of the Carmelites, Lisbon, Portugal

D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, O. Carm. (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈnunu ˈaɫvɐɾɨʃ pɨˈɾɐjɾɐ]; 24 June 1360 – 1 April 1431), also spelled Nun'Álvares Pereira, 7th Count of Barcelos, 3rd Count of Ourém and 2nd Count of Arraiolos, was a Portuguese general of great success who had a decisive role in the 1383-1385 Crisis that assured Portugal's independence from Castile. He later became a mystic and was later beatified by Pope Benedict XV, in 1918, and canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

Nuno Álvares Pereira is often referred to as the Saint Constable (Portuguese: Santo Condestável) or as Saint Nuno of Saint Mary (Portuguese: São Nuno de Santa Maria), his religious name.

Early life

Nun'Álvares Pereira coat of arms

Nuno Álvares Pereira was born on 24 June 1360 in Flor da Rosa, near Crato, central Portugal, the illegitimate son of Dom Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira, Prior of Crato and Iria Gonçalves do Carvalhal.[1] His grandfather was Dom Gonçalo (Gonçalves) Pereira, 97th Archbishop of Braga (1326–1349). He was descended from the oldest Portuguese and Galician nobility. About a year after his birth, the child was legitimized by royal decree and so was able to receive a knightly education typical of the offspring of the noble families of the time. At 13 years of age he became page to Queen Leonor.[1] At age 16, he married Leonor de Alvim, a rich young widow,[1] daughter of João Pires de Alvim and wife Branca Pires Coelho and childless widow of Vasco Gonçalves Barroso. Three children were born to the union, two boys who died early in life, and a girl, Beatrice, who would eventually marry Afonso, first Duke of Bragança, son of King João I.[2]