Saint of the Day – 2 February – Blessed Peter Cambiano OP (1320-1365) Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) and Martyr, Confessor, renowned Preacher calling many to conversion by his holy zeal and the power of his words. Born in 1320 in Chieri, Piedmont, Italy and died by being stabbed to death with daggers on 2 February 1365 by Waldensian heretics outside the Franciscan friary of Susa, Italy. He is also known as – Pietro de Ruffi, Peter of Ruffia, Peter Cambiani, Pietro Cambiano av Ruffi. Additional Memorial – 7 November (Dominicans).
Peter Cambiano was born in Chieri, in Piedmont, in 1320. Peter’s father was a City Councillor, his mother was from a noble family and the boy was raised in a pious household. He received a good education and was drawn early to religious life, with a personal devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary and was thus attracted to the Dominican Order.
He joined the Dominicans in Piedmont, Italy at age 16. He continued his studies and was ordained at age 25 and was a noted preacher throughout northern Italy.
Among his talents, it is said, that he had a loud clear voice, which was very useful at that time when he had to preach in the open air. He received an appropriate formation that allowed him to be prepared for controversy with the Waldensians, a heretic sect spread in northern Italy.
The inquisition had been set up to deal with those people in Lombardy before the death of St Peter Martyr, a century before. So well did young Peter carry out the work of preaching among them, that the Order sent him to Rome to obtain a higher degree. The Pope, impressed by his talents and his family name, appointed him Inquisitor General in Piedmont.
In January 1365, Peter and two Dominican brothers went on a preaching mission through the mountains between Italy and Switzerland, working from the Franciscan Friary at Susa, Italy.
Peter’s preaching brought many back to the faith, which earned him the anger of the Waldensians. Three of the heretics came to the Friary, asked to see Peter and then murdered him at the gate.
He was buried at the Franciscan Friary, as it was considered unsafe to transport his body through the hostile heretical territory. His relics were translated to the Dominican house in Turin, Italy in 1517, after the Franciscan Friary was destroyed by an invading army.
Peter was Beatified on 4 December 1856 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmation).
Loving God, in Your mercy
You bestowed the crown of Martyrdom on Blessed Peter
for his defence of the true faith.
Help us by his prayers to please You
by a faith that is manifested through charity.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
(General Calendar of the Order of Preachers)