A Garner of Saints – Saint Peter Martyr

Saint Peter MartyrArticle

Born at Verona in 1206, his parents being infected with the Manichaean heresy. His father wished him to study letters, but he was soon initiated in the principles of sound religion and of good literature. He went to complete his studies at Bologna, and it was there that he presented himself to Saint Domenic and entered the order of the Friars’ Preachers, being at the time no more than sixteen years of age. In spite of his youth he distinguished himself among his companions by the severities which he imposed on himself, which resulted in a severe illness. He did not neglect his studies in his new character, but applied himself to them with increased ardour. Such was his talent for preaching that his superiors sent him to preach in Tuscany, the Romagna, the march of Ancona, and in the Bolognese and Milanese districts. On one occasion, as he was preaching to an immense crowd in the mercato vecchio at Florence, the devil, taking the form of a black horse, seemed about to trample on the people, when Peter, making the sign of the cross, caused it to vanish like smoke in their presence. He is reported to have healed a leg which a repentant youth had cut off under the same circumstances in which Anthony of Padua performed a similar miracle. In 1232 Pope Gregory IX appointed him inquisitor general, an office in which he distinguished himself by his zeal. Travelling from place to place he preached and worked many miracles, converting the heathen. But one day as he was going from Como to Milan, he fell in with some assassins about two o’clock in the afternoon, one of whom named Carino struck him on the head with an axe with such violence that he fell down half head. Rising to his knees he recited the first article of the symbol of the apostles, and, offering his blood as a sacrifice to God, he dipped his fingers in it and wrote on the ground Credo in Deurn. But the murderer struck him between the shoulders, piercing his heart, and he perished in the year 1252 at the age of forty-six. The body was taken to Milan and laid in the church of San Eustorgio where many miracles were wrought. His canonisation took place in 1586. 29th April.

Attributes

  • Wears the Dominican habit, with a sword or axe in his head, though sometimes only the open wound is shown.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Peter Martyr”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 April 2017. Web. 21 August 2017. <>