St. Peter of Alcantara

(c) The Bowes Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationPeter Caravito or Peter of Alcantara, as he called from the city of his birth, died on October 18, 1562, and his feast was introduced into the Missal by Clement X. This saint is distinguished by three characteristics. The first is the incredible severity of the mortification by which, like St. Paul, he sought to fill up that which was wanting in the Passion of Christ, for the good of the Church. The spirit of the Franciscan Reform, initiated in the new so-called province of St. Joseph by his endeavors, is one of great penance and extreme poverty.

The second characteristic of St. Peter of Alcantara is the abundance of mystical gifts and the grace of sublime contemplation received by him in reward for his austerities.

Thirdly, St. Peter is distinguished by the active part he took in the reform of the Carmelite Order initiated by St. Teresa. He was the first to examine and approve of the spirit of this reform.

St. Teresa, for her part declared that she had never asked anything of the Lord through the merits of Brother Peter which she had not obtained.

(Source: The New Roman Missal, Rev. F. X. Lasance)