John of Matha was born to a rich French family in 1160. Already as a young man, he showed love for the poor. After his studies at the University of Paris, he was ordained. Based on his vision, he devoted his life to buying Christian slaves captured by the Saracenes. Together with Felix of Valois, he founded the Order of the Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives and became its first representative. He took part in two successful rescue missions. He died in 1213 and was canonized in 1694.