Let us rejoice in celebrating the victory of Saint
Peter Martyr. On earth he proclaimed St Peter Verona martyr.jpgChrist’s love for us. Now Christ leads him
to a place of honor before his Father in heaven.

Almighty God, you crowned our
brother Peter with martyrdom for confessing the true faith with perseverance.
Give to us, your people, that same faith that we too may receive the gift of

From a Vita

“He [Saint Peter of Verona, martyr, 1206-1252] was marked
by great perfection as a Friar: so watchful was he over the purity of his body
and soul that he never felt himself defiled by a mortal sin. He chastened his
body by fasting and watching, and ennobled his soul by the contemplation of the
things of God. He was constantly busied in works for furthering the salvation
of souls; and had a peculiar gift of grace for clearly convincing heretics.
Such was his power as a preacher, that countless crowds were drawn together to
hear him, and many were moved to repentance.”

In the history of the Dominican order Saint Peter of Verona was among the first generation of followers of Saint Dominic. Peter’s own family were adherents to the Cathar heresy which prompted the founding of the Friars Preachers. While not the first martyr among the Dominicans he is the first saint of the Order. The working of God’s grace in men’s hearts saw the conversion of Peter’s murderer, Carino of Balsamo, and his admission to the Dominican Order as a lay brother. What beauty there is in the conversion of sinners and growth of grace to the point of fully dedicating one’s life to God under the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. Since we are all created for communion with God and others Peter’s killer was brought into that communion. One can say that Saint Peter of Verona’s was the condition of another’s full communion with God. Brother Carino recalled his crime but confessed his sin and did penance for the rest of his life; he is buried at the Cathedral of Forli. Brother Carino is a beatus of the Church; Blessed Carino’s liturgical memorial is April 28, the date of the translation of his relics.