St. Peter of Pisa

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St. Peter of Pisa

Founder of the Hermits of St. Jerome

HE was born at Pisa in 1355, whilst his father, Peter Gambacorta enjoyed the sovereign authority in that commonwealth. Being twenty-five years old, he privately left his father’s court, disguised in the habit of a poor penitent, and retired to Montebello, an agreeable solitude in Umbria. He begged his subsistence in the neighbouring village, and, in 1380, found means to build a church, and twelve cells for so many companions who had joined him. He chose St. Jerom for the patron of his congregation, because that father having visited the hermitages of all Egypt and Syria, selected out of each what seemed to him the most perfect in every exercise. Peter prescribed to his monks four Lents in the year, and to fast on all Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; to continue in prayer two hours after Matins, at night, &c. As to himself, his whole time was devoted to the exercises of prayer, and his life was most austere. F. Sajanello relates many miracles performed by him, and gives an edifying account of his eminent virtues. His congregation was approved by Martin V. in 1421. His father and two brothers being assassinated by their secretary in 1393, he was tempted to leave his desert to do justice to his family and country: but by redoubling his fervour in his holy exercises, he overcame that suggestion of the devil. He died in 1435, being eighty years old: was styled blessed by Pius V. and Clement VIII., and a solemn decree of his beatification was published by Innocent XII. in 1693. His congregation is much spread in Italy. The Order of St. Jerom of Fiesoli instituted by the Ven. Charles of Montegraneli, a noble Florentin, was united to it by Clement IX. in 1668. There are also hermits of St. Jerom in Spain, of a like institute. They follow the rule of the hermits of St. Austin; but adopt certain constitutions gathered from the works of St. Jerom. See Helyot, and Historica Monumenta Ordinis S. Hieronymi Congr.; B. Petri de Pisis, auctore Jo. Baptista Sajanello, ej. Ordinis. Patavini Collegii Doctore Theologo, Venetiis, anno 1758, t. 1; also his life, written about the year 1500, published by the Bollandists on the 14th of June, and many other authors quoted by Benedict XIV. l. 2, de Canoniz. c. 24, p. 239.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VI: June.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866. June 1.


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