Bl. Peter James of Pesaro

June 23rd

Of his early life we know little. In fact, it is to Blessed Peter’s artistic work as a calligrapher that we have knowledge of certain dates of his life. In one such work, he mentions the date 8 August 1472, and that he is at Farneto di Montelabbate (Pesaro), Italy. Documents of the Order of St. Augustine tell us that on 3 November of that same year he was master of students at the Augustinian house of studies of Perugia.

It is known that he possessed a keen intellect and academic acumen. In the year 1497 he was awarded the degree of master of theology. Blessed Peter excelled, however, not so much for his intellectual gifts but also for his Christian virtue, especially his balanced approached to life and his rare prudence. He preached with great zeal in many cities of Italy and manifested an intense love of the contemplative life.

He was elected prior provincial for the Order of St. Augustine of the Province of “March of Ancona” (Picena) (1492 to 1495), and, with the permission of the Prior general of the Order, worked tireless for the reform of that Province. He taught at the house of studies in Florence and Bologna and served as the prior in the monasteries of Aguilla, Bologna, and Valmanente (Pesaro). He died in Pesaro in 1496.

In this last community he devoted his final years to prayer and the intricate work of copying liturgical books. Blessed Peter’s earthly remains are venerated in the Augustinian church of Valmanente. His cultus was approved by Pope Pius IX and his feast is observed by the Augustinian Community on 23 June.

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