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Feastday: February 8

Death: 1089


Peter Aldobrandini was serving in Florence, Italy as a Vallombrosan monk when his order accused the city’s archbishop of committing the ecclesiastical crime of simony (the buying and selling of ecclesiastical offices). Seeking a divine verification for this grave accusation, the people of Florence resorted to an actual trial by fire. To put the accusers to the test, Peter was chosen to undergo this ordeal on behalf of his order, so that if he came through the flames unscathed, the veracity of the accusation would be considered confirmed. Peter prepared for the ordeal by devoutly celebrating Mass, as a crowd of nearly three thousand awaiting the trial prayed for him. Afterward, vested in an alb and stole, Peter prayed that God would manifest his abhorrence of the sin of simony by preserving him from the flames. Then making the sign of the cross, and carrying a crucifix, Peter calmly walked the narrow path between two raging bonfires, and emerged unharmed. Informed of the outcome, Pope Alexander II deposed the archbishop. Peter later became bishop of the diocese of Albano.


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