A Holy French Shepherd

Saint of the Day

When the man known to us now as Saint Peter of Tarentaise (1102-1174) was only twenty years old, he was so convinced of God’s call to religious life that he joined a Cistercian monastery in the Tarentaise hills of France—and he talked multiple relatives into entering religious life as well at the same time. Later, he talked a count into giving him the financial support he needed to build a hospital to care for the sick.

When he was elected archbishop of Tarentaise, he wasn’t able to talk his way out of the honor, though he tried, but he eventually became an excellent shepherd to his flock. After more than a decade, however, he ran away, changed his name, and literally hid in another Cistercian monastery so that he could return to the simplicity of monastic life. This time, he wasn’t able to talk others into believing him; people rather quickly figured out his true identity.

He returned to his position as archbishop and became well known for—you guessed it—his diplomatic skills. His last assignment before his death was as a peacemaker between two feuding kings. He is remembered by the Church on the date of his death, September 14.

Saint Peter, give me your gift of leading others to greater holiness.

Posted in Saints, Saints of France and tagged .