29 March 2011

St. Peter of Verona

St. Peter Martyr enjoins the onlooker to silence. by Fra Angelico

The following is a New Advent entry on St. Peter of Verona:
Born at Verona, 1206; died near Milan, 6 April, 1252. His parents were adherents of the Manichæan heresy, which still survived in northern Italy in the thirteenth century. Sent to a Catholic school, and later to the University of Bologna, he there met St. Dominic, and entered the Order of the Friars Preachers. Such were his virtues, severity of life and doctrine, talent for preaching, and zeal for the Faith, that Gregory IX made him general inquisitor, and his superiors destined him to combat the Manichæanerrors. In that capacity he evangelized nearly the whole of Italy, preaching in RomeFlorence, Bologna, Genoa, and Como.Crowds came to meet him and followed him wherever he went; and conversions were numerous. He never failed to denounce the vices and errors of Catholics who confessed the Faith by words, but in deeds denied it. The Manichæans did all they could to compel the inquisitor to cease from preaching against their errors and propaganda. Persecutions, calumnies, threats, nothing was left untried.
When returning from Como to Milan, he met a certain Carino who with some other Manichæans had plotted to murder him. The assassin struck him with an axe on the head with such violence, that the holy man fell half dead. 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 the words: "Credo in Deum". The murderer then pierced his heart. The body was carried to Milan and laid in thechurch of St. Eustorgio, where a magnificent mausoleum, the work of Balduccio Pisano, was erected to his memory. He wrought many miracles when living, but they were even more numerous after his martyrdom, so that Innocent IV canonized him on 25 March, 1253.

Saint Peter Martyr, pray for us.+
I wanted to just add that on his feast day, priests can bestow blessings on water invoking St. Peter Martyr, although, I am not sure of the particular form for this blessing, and it may involve also a relic of his.  The holy water is then referred to as, "St. Peter Martyr Water".  Also, there is a traditional blessing on small wooden crosses that one could make from all natural materials even just found outside, such as small twigs and twine.  Again, however, I am unaware of the form and rubrics and it may also require a St. Peter Martyr relic.  These are used for protection around the home, very much like palm crosses or St. Benedict medals, placed at the furthest corners of a residence (either/or both inside and outside).  This blessing can also be in addition to something with another but different blessing, such as to palm crosses.


  1. I should have added more comments on this saint. He is the one who is famous for writing "Credo in unum Deo" in his blood with his finger whilst dying on the side of the road. There are stories today floating about that he was attacked by Muslims, but in actuality, the heretics that attacked him were persons who were actually Manicheans (you may remember them from St. Augustine's time, as he had been a staunch Manichean prior to his miraculous conversion).

    He is a wonderful saint because his parents were these Manichean heretics, and very big into this heresy. Yet, God saw it fit to keep Peter in the light of truth as Peter sought for truth and remained open to that light in holy obedience to God and His Commandments. He is one to pray for his intercession for priests and for anyone needing conversion, especially family members, as he knows first-hand what it is like to have family that is heretical, and yet not be swayed by them. As saints in heaven retain their character, his character is such that we should easily find need of his intercession.

  2. http://www.dominicanfriars.org/news/the-blessings-of-st-peter-martyr In our TLM parish, the palms are shaped into crosses and on this Feast of St Peter bring them and get a special blessing. Then place them in little bags and bury them in the 4 corners of your property for special protection from tornadoes and evil.