He was early instructed in the Christian religion, and even while he was still a little child, he showed great promise of mind and body. As a young man, he taught letters. He afterwards went to Bologna, where he applied himself to works of godliness, and to the study of the Ecclesiastical and Civil Law. He took the degree of Doctor and lectured on Canon Law. He attained so much celebrity that Berengar, Bishop of Barcelona, on his way from Rome to his own See, turned aside to visit the Saint at Bologna, and at length persuaded him after many entreaties to return with him to Spain. He was appointed to a Canonry and the Archdeaconry in the Church of Barcelona.

When he was about forty-five years of age he solemnly professed in the Order of Friars Preachers, and strove, as a new recruit, to perfect himself in all the duties of his calling, particularly in charity to the poor, and above all to those unhappy Christians who were slaves to the unbelievers. He was the Confessor of St. Peter Nolasco and of James I., King of Aragon, and by his advice St Peter Nolasco gave up his whole worldly possessions to ransom as many as possible of the wretched captives.

He was summoned to Rome by Gregory IX, in the year 1230, and appointed by him his Chaplain, Penitentiary, and Confessor, and by his orders collected into one volume of the Decretals the ordinances of the Roman Pontiffs, which up to that time were only to be found scattered among the records of diverse Councils and Churches. He firmly refused the Archbishopric of Tarascon, which was offered him by the Pope himself, and, having been chosen Master General of the whole order of Friars Preachers, he discharged the duties of that office in holiness for two years, and then resigned it.

He died on the 6th of January 1275.