Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 April – Saint Peter of Braga (Died c 60) Martyr,

Saint of the Day – 26 April – Saint Peter of Braga (Died c 60) Martyr, the first Bishop of Braga, Portugal between the years 45 and 60. Born as Pedro de Rates on an unknown date and he died in c 60 in norther Portugal. Patronage – Braga. Also known as Peter of Rates and Pedro di Braga.

The Roman Martyrology states: “At Braga, Portugal, St Peter, Martyr, the first Bishop of that City.”

Tradition says he was ordered to preach the Christian faith by Saint James the Greater and that Peter of Rates was martyred while attempting to convert the locals to the Christian faith in northern Portugal. The ancient Breviary of Braga (Breviarium Bracarense) and the Breviary of Evora hold that Peter was a disciple of Saint James and preached at Braga.

The document holds that Saint James, one of the Apostles of Christ, visited the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula in the year 44. One of the places he visited was Serra de Rates, in the current municipality of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal.

During his visit, the Apostle Ordained and Consecrated the local Peter of Braga as the first Bishop of Braga.

It is believed that Saint Peter was beheaded while converting the local pagans to the Christian faith.

Statue of St Peter at the Rates Monastery

Centuries later, around the 9th century, the discovery of Peter’s body was attributed to Saint Felix the Hermit, a fisherman of Villa Mendo, an ancient Roman villa that existed until the early years of the Kingdom of Portugal and rediscovered in the 20th century under the sand dunes of Rio Alto in Estela, also in Póvoa de Varzim.

Felix had left home and settled in the biggest hill of the area, which is today known as São Félix Hill. Regularly, Saint Félix observed a light in the darkness of the night from the hill. One day, curious about the light’s origins, Felix came upon the body of Saint Peter. On that spot, the Romanesque Monastery of Rates was built and the relics kept there until 1552; in that year the body was transferred to Braga Cathedral, where it is still kept.

Tomb of St Peter

In the civil parishes of Balasar and Rates in Póvoa de Varzim, there are two fountains that the population believes are miraculous because they were used by this saint.

In the 18th century, there are descriptions that Saint Peter of Braga was beheaded while drinking the waters of the fountain in Balasar. The faithful believes that two indentations on the fountain are impressions from the saint’s knees. At the fountain of Rates, a stone is believed to cure in cases of sterility. Due to that belief, on 26 April every year, the feast day of Saint Peter, the pregnant women and female animals do not go to work.

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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