Painting by Melchior Perez Holguin, 18th century,
National Museum of Art, Bolivia
SAINT PETER OF ALCANTARA
One of the great Spanish mystics of the 16th century, Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) entered the Franciscan Order at 16. As a friar his time was divided between preaching to the poor and contemplative prayer. He instituted a very severe Franciscan reform known as the "Strick Observance." He defended St. Teresa of Avila when everyone else was against her, and assured her, from his own experience, that her contemplative prayer was genuine. After his death he appeared to Teresa and said to her: "O blessed penitence which has earned for me such great glory!"
Mass of a CONFESSOR OF THE FAITH, except
O God, You blessed the holy confessor Peter with a remarkable spirit of penance and the highest gift of contemplation. May his merits help us to mortify our flesh and deepen our understanding of the things of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
READING Philipp. 3:7-12
Brethren: The things that were gain to me, the same I have counted loss for Christ. Furthermore, I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ, my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ. And may be found in him, not having my justice, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ Jesus, which is of God: justice in faith. That I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings: being made conformable to his death, If by any means I may attain to the resurrection which is from the dead. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.