Peter Martyr, St.

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Preacher, miracle worker, first Dominican martyr; b. Verona, Italy, c. 1205; d. near Milan, Italy, April 6, 1252. Peter, born of heretical parents, embraced the Faith and c. 1221 entered the Dominican order. He preached in the important cities of central and north Italy, founding militant, pious confraternities of laity to counteract heretical influences. At Florence (124445) he aided the seven founders of the servites. He was prior of Dominican houses at Asti (1240), Piacenza (1241), and Como (1251). In 1232, and again in 1251, he was named papal inquisitor (see inquisition). Because of his vigorous preaching and numerous converts, he aroused the hatred of the cathari. At Paschaltide, 1252, he was assassinated on the road between Como and Milan. innocent iv canonized him the following year. St. Peter, patron of inquisitors, enjoyed a wide cult in the Middle Ages and was frequently depicted in art. His tomb is in the church of Santo Eustorgio, Milan.

Feast: April 20 (formerly 29).

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum April 3:686727. Una vita per il credo, notizie biografiche storiche artistiche nel VII centenario del martirio di s. Pietro da Verona (Seveso, Italy 1952). r. francisco, S. Pietro da Verona (Alba 1952). g. ederle, San Pietro da Verona (Verona 1952). e. liberti, Seveso deve qualcosa al sangue di un martire (Milan 1968).

[j. f. hinnebusch]