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Friday, November 26, 2010

Saint Peter of Alexandria, Bishop and Martyr

Saint Peter of Alexandria, Bishop and Martyr
This Peter, of whom the historian Eusebius hath written, succeeded that eminent man, Saint Thomas, as Pope of Alexandria, in the year of our Lord 300. And the glory of his holiness and teaching hath enlightened not Egypt only, but the whole Church of God. The wondrous patience wherewith he bore the roughness of the times in the persecution under Maximian Galerius caused many greatly to increase in Christian grace. He was the first who cut off Arius, then a Deacon of Alexandria, from the Communion of the faithful on account of his leaning to the Meletian schism. He was condemned to death by Maximian, and was in prison when there came to him the two priests Achilles and Alexander to plead for Arius. But Peter told them that Jesus had appeared to him in the night clad in a rent garment, and had said : Arius hath torn my vesture, which is the Church. Also, he foretold to them that they should be Popes of Alexandria after him and strictly commanded them never to receive Arius into Communion, because he knew him to be dead in the sight of God. That this was a true prophecy the event did shortly prove. At length, in the twelfth year of his episcopate, on November 26th, 311, his head was cut off, and he went hence to receive the crown of his testimony.
Beheading of Saint Peter of Alexandria
Almighty God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, that whereas we are afflicted by the burden of our sins; the glorious intercession of thy Martyr and Bishop blessed Peter may be our succour and defence, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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