St. Peter of Verona
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?
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 63, 3
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 63, 2. Hear, O God, my prayers, when I make supplication to Thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy. Glory be …
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we may honor the faith of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, with fitting devotions, as he by the spread of the same faith was found worthy to obtain the palm of martyrdom. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 2 Tim. 2, 8-10; 3, 10-12
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle to Timothy.
Dearly beloved, Be mindful that the Lord Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel. Wherein I labour even unto bands, as an evildoer; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me. And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 88, 6. The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord; and Thy truth in the church of the saints. Alleluia. Ps. 20, 4. O Lord, Thou has set on his head a crown of precious stones. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 15, 1-7
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[A continuation of Christ's discourse to his disciples.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 6
The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord and Thy truth in the church of the saints, alleluia, alleluia.
Graciously give ear, O Lord, to the prayers we offer Thee, and, through the intercession of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, keep under Thy protection those who defend the Faith. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 63, 11
The just shall rejoice in the Lord and shall hope in Him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised, alleluia, alleluia.
May the sacraments which we have received, keep Thy faithful, O Lord, and, by the intercession of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, guard them against all assaults of the enemy. Through our Lord.