Butler/Lives of the Saints with Daily Reflections/St. Peter, Martyr
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April 29.—ST. PETER, Martyr.
IN 1205 the glorious martyr Peter was born at Verona of heretical parents. He went to a Catholic school, and his Manichean uncle asked what he learnt. "The Creed," answered Peter; "I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth." No persuasion could shake his faith, and at fifteen he received the habit from St. Dominic himself at Bologna. After ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy, and converted multitudes. St. Peter was constantly obliged to dispute with heretics, and although he was able to confound them, still the devil took occasion thence to tempt him once against faith. Instantly he had recourse to prayer before an image of Our Lady, and heard a voice saying to him the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, "I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it." Once when exhorting a vast crowd, under the burning sun, the heretics defied him to procure shade. He prayed, and a cloud overshadowed the audience. In spite of his sanctity, he was foully slandered and even punished for immorality. He submitted humbly, but complained in prayer to Jesus crucified. The crucifix spoke, "And I, Peter, what did I do?" Every day, as he elevated at Mass the precious blood, he prayed, "Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, Who for me didst die." His prayer was answered. The heretics, confounded by him, sought his life. Two of them attacked him as he was returning to Milan, and struck his head with an axe. St. Peter fell, commended himself to God, dipped his finger in his own blood, and wrote on the ground, "I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth." They then stabbed him in the side, and he received his crown.
Reflection.— From a boy St. Peter boldly professed his faith among heretics. He spent his life in preaching the faith to heretics, and received the glorious and long-desired crown of martyrdom from heretics. We are surrounded by heretics. Are we courageous, firm, zealous, full of prayer for their conversion, unflinching in our profession of faith?
ST. HUGH, Abbot of Cluny.
ST. HUGH was a prince related to the sovereign house of the dukes of Burgundy, and had his education under the tuition of his pious mother, and under the care of Hugh, Bishop of Auxerre, his great-uncle. From his infancy he was exceedingly given to prayer and meditation, and his life was remarkably innocent and holy. One day, hearing an account of the wonderful sanctity of the monks of Cluny, under St. Odilo, he was so moved that he set out that moment, and going thither, humbly begged the monastic habit. After a rigid novitiate, he made his profession in 1039, being sixteen years old. His extraordinary virtue, especially his admirable humility, obedience, charity, sweetness, prudence, and zeal, gained him the respect of the whole community; and upon the death of St. Odilo, in 1049, though only twenty-five years old, he succeeded to the government of that great abbey, which he held sixty-two years. He received to the religious profession Hugh, Duke of Burgundy, and died on the twenty-ninth of April, in 1109, aged eighty-five. He was canonized twelve years after his death by Pope Calixtus II.