Saint Peter Thomas
Born about 1305 in southern Perigord, in France, Peter Thomas entered the Carmelites when he was twenty-one. He was chosen by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345. After being made bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches. He was translated to the see of Corone in the Peloponnesus in 1359 and made Papal Legate for the East. In 1363 he was appointed Archbishop of Crete and in 1364 Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. He won a reputation as an apostle of church unity before he died at Famagosta on Cyprus in 1366.
From the common of pastors
Office of Readings
Peter, from your height of glory,
Look on all, our brethren dear.
Listen in your kind compassion As we sound your praises here.
Faithful to the rule of Carmel You made progress day by day;
Called from thence to higher office Love still lighted all your way.
Mary, Virgin ever-blessed,
Guided you with mother’s care;
You repaid her sweet affection With your constant loving prayer.
Deeply you have pondered scripture,
Ever following truth’s call,
Thence have drawn with zeal unwearied Food of doctrine for us all.
Since we have your good example Shining as a lamp to guide,
Pray for us that we may follow,
Putting selfish aims aside.
May we praise you, heavenly Father,
Praise your Son and Spirit blest,
When together with Saint Peter At your throne we come to rest.
87.87. Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
From the Book of the Institution of the First Monks
(L. 1, c. 6: ed. An OC 3 [1914-1916], pp. 356-57).
Love your neighbor as yourself
Whoever knows my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The foremost commandment is: Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God is one God, and you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest of the commandments. But you cannot observe it unless you love your neighbor, for whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen; and so the second commandment is like the first: You will love your neighbor as yourself—that is, in the same way as you must love yourself and for the same reason.
Now what you must desire for yourself are those things which are truly good, not evil. If you wish yourself evil you are hating, not loving yourself, for whoever loves wickedness hates his own soul. This is the way, then, in which you must love your neighbor as yourself, wishing him good, not evil, for whatever you want others to do to you, you must do the same to them, and you should never do to another anything you would hate to have done to yourself by another. Love never wrongs a neighbor.
What you are to love in your neighbor, then, and do to him, are the things that will make him good if he is bad, or encourage him to persevere in virtue if he is good. Now it is for God’s sake, of course, not your own, that you must love yourself, for you turn the thing you love for its own sake into the ultimate object of your happiness and the crowning blessing of your whole life. All your present joy will consist in looking forward to its enjoyment. How unworthy it would be, then, for you to place your hopes for a life of blessedness in yourself, or in any other human creature! Woe to the one who puts his trust in man and relies on an arm of flesh, the one whose heart turns away from the Lord! It is the Lord you should take as the ultimate object of your happiness, it is to him you must look for a life of blessedness, for the apostle says: Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification, and its end, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
See things as they truly are, then, and you will find yourself obliged to love God for his own sake, and yourself not for your own sake but for God’s. And since you must love your neighbor as yourself, you will not love him either for his own sake or for yours, but for God’s, or rather you will love God in your neighbor, By this we know that we love God’s children, says the apostle John, when we love God and obey his commandments. If you love God for his own sake, and your neighbor as yourself for God’s sake, then you are doing all that is necessary to prepare your soul, for on these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.
RESPONSORY 1Thessalonians 2:8; Galatians 4:19
I have longed to give you the Gospel, and more than that, to give you my very life;
—you have become very dear to me.
My little children, I am like a mother giving birth to you, until Christ is formed in you.
—you have become very dear to me.
Peace-maker prudent, hear our humble voices
Singing your praises, bringing our petition;
Plead with the Father that with you for patron,
Peace be our portion.
Leader impassioned, all on fire with fervor,
Making long journeys to the eastern places,
Herald peace-laden, bearing love to soften
Hearts filled with hatred.
Dauntless and watchful, ready for all dangers,
Where the Pope called you, there he found you waiting:
Your sole ambition that the Church grow closer
To Christ her bridegroom.
Driven by ardor for the gospel precepts,
Kings you awakened, battle-lines united;
These were your weapons: sign of Cross redeeming
And Name of Jesus.
Singing the glory of the Three eternal,
Peter, we pray you, guide us on our journey.
Hopeful, unweary, may we reach the haven;
Heaven, our homeland!
Pacis o prudens operator
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH
Ant. I am the good shepherd; I lay down my life for my sheep; and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
you inspired in your bishop, Saint Peter Thomas,
an intense desire to promote peace and Christian unity.
Following his example,
may we live steadfast in the faith
and work perseveringly for peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
HYMN, as at Office of Readings, p. 5.
CANTICLE OF MARY
Ant. May the peace of Christ fill your hearts with joy, that peace to which all of you are called as one body.