Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27: Feast of Saint Peter Armengol, the saint of confidence in Our Lady...

Saint Peter Armengol: Spanish. 13th century.
In his youth,  Peter Armengol was a great sinner.   He even joined a gang of highway robbers. 
But he later converted and joined the Mercedarian Order, where he dedicated the rest of his life to rescuing Catholic prisoners from Muslim jails.
The most memorable part of his life took place on trip to Bejaïa to ransom 18 children from the Muslims.  He didn't have enough money to pay the ransom so he  stayed behind as a pledge until the full sum of the ransom would arrive. 
However, the money for the full ransom did not arrive in time and he was hanged from the gallows.


(Painting of Our Lady of Confidence)

But his confidence in Our Lady was not mistaken.  She held him in the air so the noose could not do its deadly work. 

Finally, the full ransom money arrived, and Saint Peter was found to be still alive, hanging from the rope.  His confidence in Our Lady had saved him.
But for the rest of his life, he had a huge scar where the rope had been and a twisted neck. 
He died a holy death in 1304.

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