- Peter of Alcantara
name= Saint Peter of Alcantara
Roman Catholic Church
caption= "The apparition of
John of Capistranoto Peter of Alcantara". Luca Giordano.
patronage=Brazil; Extremadura; Nocturnal Adorers
Saint Peter of Alcantara (Spanish : San Pedro de Alcántara) (1499—
October 18, 1562) was a Spanish Franciscan. He was born at Alcántara, Spain. His father, Peter Garavita, was the governor of the place, and his mother was of the noble family of Sanabia. After a course of grammarand philosophyin his native town, he was sent, at the age of fourteen, to the University of Salamanca. Returning home, he became a Franciscanof the Stricter Observance in the convent at Manxaretesin 1515. At the age of twenty-two he was sent to found a new community of the Stricter Observance at Badajoz. He was ordained priestin 1524, and the following year made guardian of the convent of St. Mary of the Angels at Robredillo. A few years later he began preaching with much success. He preferred to preach to the poor; his sermons, taken largely from the Prophets and Sapiential Books, breathe the tenderest human sympathy. The reform of the "Discalced Friars" had, at the time when Peter entered the order, besides the convents in Spain, the Custody of Santa Maria Pietatis in Portugal, subject to the General superiorof the Observantists.
Having been elected minister (i.e. superior) of St. Gabriel's
religious provincein 1538, Peter set to work at once. At the chapter of Plasenciain 1540 he drew up the Constitutions of the Stricter Observants, but his severe ideas met with such opposition that he renounced the office of provincial and retired with John of Avilainto the mountains of Arabidain Portugal, where he joined Father Martin a Santa Maria in his life of eremitical solitude, but soon other friars came to join him, and several little communities were established; Peter was chosen guardian and master of novicesat the convent of Pallais. In 1560 these communities were erected into the Province of Arabida. Returning to Spain in 1553 he spent two more years in solitude; then he journeyed barefoot to Romeand obtained permission of Julius IIIto found some poor convents in Spain under the jurisdiction of the general of the Conventuals. Convents were established at Pedrosa, Plasenciaand elsewhere; in 1556 they were made a commissariat, with Peter as superior, and in 1561 a religious province under the title of St. Joseph. Not discouraged by the opposition and ill-success his efforts at reform had met with in St. Gabriel's province, Peter drew up the constitutions of the new province with even greater severity. The reform spread rapidly into other provinces of Spain and Portugal.
In 1562 the province of St. Joseph was put under the jurisdiction of the general of the Observants, and two new custodies were formed: St. John Baptist's in Valencia and St. Simon's in Galicia (see Friars Minor). Besides the above-named associates of Peter may be mentioned
St. Francis Borgia, John of Avilaand Venerable Louis of Granada. In St. Teresa, Peter perceived a soul chosen of God for a great work, and her success in the reform of Carmel(see Carmelites) was in great measure due to his counsel, encouragement and defence. It was a letter from St. Peter (14 April, 1562) that encouraged her to found her first monastery at Avila, 24 August of that year. St. Teresa's autobiography is the source of much of our information regarding Peter's life, work, gifts of miracles and prophecy.
He often went into ecstasy. He is purported to have slept for only one and a half hours each day, inside his room which had a floor area of only four and a half square feet. While in prayer and contemplation, he was often seen in ecstasies and levitation. In his deathbed, he was offered a glass of water which he refused, saying that "Even my Lord Jesus Christ thirsted on the Cross...". He died while on his knees on October 18, 1562 in a monastery at
Legacy and veneration
Besides the Constitutions of the Stricter Observants and many letters on spiritual subjects, especially to St. Teresa, he composed a short treatise on prayer, which has been translated into all European languages. In confirmation of his virtues and mission of reformation God worked numerous
miracles through his intercession and by his very presence. He was beatifiedby Gregory XVin 1622, and canonizedby Clement IXin 1669. His liturgical feast is on 18 October, the day of his death. Because the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelistis observed on that day, his feast was assigned to 19 October, when in 1670 it was first included in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. It was removed from that calendar in 1969 because of his limited importance worldwide. ["Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 143] But the inclusion of Saint Peter of Alcantara in the Roman Martyrologyas one of the saints of 18 October["Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)] means that he may still be given official honours everywhere.
Saint Peter of Alcantara is in fact the
patron saintof Nocturnal Adorers. In 1826, he was named patron saint of Brazil, and in 1962 (the fourth centenary of his death), of Estremadura. He is also venerated as patron saint of Saint Peter of Alcantara Parish in Taal, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines which is composed of Bgys. Caingin, Taal Luwasan, Taal Hulo, Tambubong and Batia, under the canonical jurisdiction of the Diocese of Malolos. The town of San Pedro de Alcántarain the province of Málagais named after him.
* Diocese of Shrewsbury Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians and
St Peter of Alcantara, United Kingdom of Great Britain
* [http://www.paxetbonum.net/saints/peter.jpgImage of Peter]
*CathEncy|title=Peter of Alcántara|url=http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11770c.htm
* [http://www.saintpetersbasilica.org/Statues/Founders/PeterofAlcantara/Peter%20of%20Alcantara.htm Founder Statue in St Peter's Basilica]
*it icon [http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/74425 San Pietro d'Alcantara]
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Peter of Alcántara — (1499–1562) Saint and Order Founder. Peter was born of a noble family in Alcántara, Spain. He was educated in Salamanca and he joined the Observantist Franciscans in 1515. From 1538 until 1541 he was Provincial of the Extremaduran province… … Who’s Who in Christianity
Peter of Alcántara, Saint — • Spanish Franciscan priest, reformer, and mystic. Died in 1562 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 … Catholic encyclopedia
Peter of Alcántara, Saint — ▪ Spanish mystic Spanish San Pedro De Alcántara, original name Pedro Garavito born 1499, Alcántara, Spain died Oct. 18, 1562, Arenas; canonized 1669; feast day October 19 Franciscan mystic who founded an austere form of Franciscan life… … Universalium
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Peter  — Peter, v. gr. Petros, franz. Pierre, span. u. port. Piedro, ital. Pietro, bedeutet der Fels. Merkwürdig sind: I. Apostel: 1) s. Petrus. II. Regierende Fürsten: A) Kaiser: a) Kaiser von Brasilien: 2) Dom Pedro I. de Alcantara, zweiter Sohn Johanns … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon