Thursday, August 10, 2006

Saint Peter of Alcantara

Peter was born of noble parents at Alcantara in Spain. He entered the Order of Friars Minor when he was sixteen. Peter showed himself a model of all virtues, especially poverty and chastity, and brought numberless men from vice to repentance by preaching the word of God.

He was very eager to restore the original observance of St. Francis of Assisi. Peter built a very small and very poor monastery near Pedroso. The way of life there was very strict, and from the beginning it spread in a remarkable way.

Peter helped St. Teresa of Avila in promoting the Carmelite reform, having approved the spirit in which she had begun it. Teresa often referred to him as a saint even while he was still living. From her writings we learn that he was famous for the grace of contemplation and miracles, and was blessed with the gift of Prophecy and of the discernment of spirits.

He died at sixty-three, and Saint Teresa saw him in a vision, shining with wonderful glory.

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