Peter was born in Astorga, Spain in 1190, having been educated by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga. He was given a position as a canon whilst still very young. He went through a dramatic conversion experience, somewhat similar to St. Paul’s conversion experience on his road to Damascus. Peter was on his way to the cathedral to take up this important post, but the horse he was riding stumbled and fell, wherein Peter fell, landing in mud. People laughed at him and it occurred to Peter that there must have been a reason for this event. Accordingly, he analyzed why he was taking this position, which motivated him to take a new path in his vocation. He entered the Dominican Order and became a priest.
Crowds came to listen to Peter preach and numerous individuals converted as a result of his effective, holy and amazing presentation of the message of the Gospel. He served also as the court chaplain, attempting to spiritually guide the members of the court. King Ferdinand III and his army defeated the Muslim Moors at Cordoba, wherein Peter was successful in his message of treating the Moors with compassion, and persuading the King and his soldiers not to pillage and destroy.
Peter retired from the court, wherein he devoted the rest of his life by preaching the Gospel in northwest Spain, having effected a distinct mission to help Spanish and Portuguese seamen, wherein he instructed them and helped to convert them.
Blessed Peer died in 1246 at Tuy, and was beatified in 1254 by Innocent IV, which was confirmed in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV.
We thank Blessed Peter for using his incredible talents to spread the Gospel among all classes of people, the rich, noble, poor, ignorant and uneducated. I take from his example to be good and compassionate to everyone we meet, even our enemies and those who give us difficulties and trouble. Also, I find his conversion experience most important, wherein his example tells us that we must go through our daily examination of ourselves and thus, effect daily conversion of ourselves, becoming closer and closer to Our Lord Jesus Christ as we become who Our Lord created in spirit and in truth.
Dear Blessed Peter, pray and intercede for us before the Triune God! We honor you today and will remember your example!
Sources: Franciscan Media; Catholic Encyclopedia; Vatican website