Saint Peter of Alcantara (1562)

He was a Franciscan. He was a great friend and encourager of the great Saint Teresa of Avila. He was the son of the Governor of Alcantara. At sixteen years of age, he distributed all his fortune to the poor so as to become a Franciscan. Though given high offices in his Order, Saint Peter resigned from them. He went to live in the mountains of Portugal as a hermit. He instituted the Alcantarine reform in the Franciscan Order and led with his friars a life of the utmost austerity and poverty. He ate only every third day. He lived in a cell so small he could never lie down to sleep. He died when he was sixty-three years old. When he died, he appeared to Saint Teresa of Avila and said to her, “I am going to rest.”

Saint Peter of Alcántara, photo credit: The Bowes Museum (source)

Saint Peter of Alcántara, by the school of Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1664), photo credit: The Bowes Museum (source)