Martyr of the Month
St. Peter of Verona
Feast Day – April 29
St. Peter was born in Verona in the year 1205. His parents were not Catholic, but he attended a Catholic school. One day his uncle, who was a Manichean, (a person who is more pagan than heretic, and believes that that there is a good god and a bad god) asked him what he learnt at school. Peter replied, “The Creed…I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth…” As much as his family tried to persuade him to give up his faith, he remained firm in it.
When Peter was just fifteen, he received the habit from St. Dominic himself, and after his ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy, converting a great number of them. Because St. Peter was always disputing with heretics, although he would convert them, the devil thought to tempt him once against his faith. He instantly knelt to pray before an image of Our Lady and was strengthened by a voice that repeated the words of Jesus in the Gospels: “I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it.”
Once, under the burning hot sun, Peter was preaching to a great crowd. Some heretics called out to him to show them a miracle by making some shade for the crowd. Peter prayed to God, and suddenly a cloud came over the audience. Still, although he was a holy man, Peter was persecuted, even punished, for the lies which were started about him. Peter submitted himself humbly, but in prayer complained to Jesus crucified. The crucifix spoke to him saying, “And I, Peter, what did I do?”
St. Peter would pray, while he said Mass, that he might die for Jesus, saying, “Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, who for me didst die.” Peter’s prayer was answered.
The heretics were getting more and more angry that Peter was succeeding in the arguments they had against him, and decided to kill him. While St. Peter was walking to Milan, two of these heretics struck him with an axe. Peter fell down and prayed to God. He dipped his finger in his own blood and wrote on the ground, “I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth.” The heretics then stabbed him in his side, and Peter went to see God and receive his crown of martyrdom.
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