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St. Peter Thomas, Bishop

St. Peter Thomas, Bishop

January 8, 2024

Saint Peter Thomas led a remarkable and multifaceted life, starting from humble beginnings in Périgord, France. Born to a very poor family, he left home at a young age to alleviate the financial burden on his family. His quest for education led him to attend school in Monpazier and later in Agen, where he pursued studies at the Carmelite College.

Joining the Carmelite Order at 21, Peter Thomas dedicated himself to education and religious studies, teaching and studying across several locations in France. He was ordained as a priest and gained recognition for his eloquence as a preacher. His preaching during a drought-induced procession in Cahors, resulting in rainfall, was perceived by many as miraculous.

Elevated to various diplomatic and ecclesiastical roles, Peter Thomas undertook several diplomatic missions for the Holy See, attempting to mediate conflicts and negotiate agreements between nations and rulers. His efforts extended to places like Venice, Genoa, Naples, Serbia, and Constantinople, where he aimed to mend relationships and evaluate intentions regarding the unification of the Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church.

Appointed as a bishop in Patti and Lipari, Peter Thomas's endeavors toward unity and peace within the Church made him an early advocate of ecumenism. His final mission was to initiate a crusade to reclaim holy places and restore the Kingdom of Jerusalem. However, during this quest, he fell ill and passed away in Famagusta, Cyprus, in 1366.

Recognized for his preaching, virtuous life, and attributed miracles during his lifetime, Saint Peter Thomas was venerated as a saint by the people of Cyprus. His cult was confirmed by Pope Paul V, and Urban VIII ratified his cult among the Carmelites for the dioceses of Sarlat and Périgueux. He is celebrated on January 6 in the Catholic Church, January 8 in the Carmelite Order (as an optional memorial for the Discalced Carmelites and as a Feast for the Ancient Order of Carmel), and in the diocese of Périgueux.

Saint Peter Thomas remains a significant figure in Catholic history, known for his diplomatic efforts, commitment to unity within the Church, and devotion to peace. His dedication to these causes established him as an early pioneer of ecumenism and earned him veneration as a saint within the Catholic tradition.

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