Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 12 January

Blessed Peter, Lay Brother, O.P.

Blessed Peter began life as a humble cabin-boy. He was full of the love of adventure, but always pious and very particular about going to confession before setting out on a voyage. At one of the confessions, made as it seemed by chance to a Dominican Friar, he made up his mind to give up a seafaring life and to become a lay brother. He was made porter, “an office which,” says Blessed Humbert, “requires a brother of grave and religious, yet at the same time gracious, demeanor, proof against evil, of good sense, able to answer prudently, capable of edifying others by his pleasant conversation.” This good lay brother possessed all these qualities and especially he knew how to be patient under injuries and was very humble in his manner of refusing to do what he knew to be contrary to his duty. He worked wonders by his charity towards the poor, particularly those who were old and infirm. When any religious of his convent was about to die, he always knew and foretold it days beforehand. During eight days after the burial, he remained all through the night in prayer at the grave. He would not die in a bed, but on the bare earth, and the faithful were so eager to see his holy remains that it required armed force to prevent them from disinterring the body. In spite of his austerities, he preserved all his life a fresh, clear complexion, the true outward expression of his pure and joyous heart.

Prayer

“Blessed be God, Who hath not rejected my prayer, nor withdrawn his infinite mercy from me.” (Psalm 65:20) – last words of Blessed Peter

Practice

Learn how to refuse with a good grace what you cannot do for your neighbor without failing in your duty.