PETER OF LUXEMBURG, descended both by his father and mother from the noblest families in Europe, was born in Lorraine, in the year 1369. When but a schoolboy, twelve years of age, he went to London as a hostage for his brother, the Count of St. Pol, who had been taken prisoner. The English were so won by Peter’s holy example that they released him at the end of the year, taking his word for the ransom. Richard II. now invited him to remain at the English court; but Peter returned to Paris, determined to have no master but Christ.
At the early age of fifteen he was appointed, on account of his prudence and sanctity, Bishop of Metz, and made his public entry into his see barefoot and riding an ass. He governed his diocese with all the zeal and prudence of maturity, and divided his revenues in three parts—for the Church, the poor, and his household.
His charities often left him personally destitute, and he had but twenty pence left when he died. Created Cardinal of St. George, his austerities in the midst of a court were so severe that he was ordered to moderate them. Peter replied, “I shall always be an unprofitable servant, but I can at least obey.” Ten months after his promotion he fell sick of a fever, and lingered for some time in a sinking condition, his holiness increasing as he drew near his end. St. Peter, it was believed, never stained his soul by mortal sin; yet as he grew in grace his holy hatred of self became more and more intense. At length, when he had received the last sacraments, he forced his attendants each in turn to scourge him for his faults, and then lay silent till he died.
But God was pleased to glorify His servant. Among other miracles is the following: On July 5, 1432, a child about twelve years old was killed by falling from a high tower, in the palace of Avignon, upon a sharp rock. The father, distracted with grief, picked up the scattered pieces of the skull and brains, and carried them in a sack, with the mutilated body of his son, to St. Peter’s shrine, and with many tears be- sought the Saint’s intercession. After a while the child returned to life, and was placed upon the altar for all to witness. In honor of this miracle the city of Avignon chose St. Peter as its patron Saint. He died in 1387, aged eighteen years.
Reflection.—St. Peter teaches us how, by self-denial, rank, riches, the highest dignities, and all this world can give, may serve to make a Saint.