From the Dominican Ordo:
Saint Peter was born at Verona, Italy, around 1205 of Manichean parents. While a student at Bologna, he entered the Order of Preachers, receiving the habit from the hands of Saint Dominic. Full of zeal for the purity of the faith he preached the word of God and brought many people back to the true faith. His concern for the growth of the faith among the laity led him to establish the Confraternity in Praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Association of the Faith. He earnestly promoted community life and served the brethren as prior. Towards the end of his life he received the office of inquisitor, a ministry which he carried out to great effect. On April 6, 1252, while returning from Como to Milan he was set upon by a group of heretics and was fatally stabbed. As he lay dying on the roadway, he wrote on the ground with his own blood his final testament to the Cahtolic doctrine which he had so staunchly defended in life:Credo in unum Deum.
From his childhood he stood up against his own parents and family for the truth of the catholic faith against Manichaeism.
This heretical teaching was about the dualism of good and evil. We often see this today in the round circle that is half black (darkness) and half white (light). Even today we see followers of this belief that there is always good and evil in creation, people and everything. They are gnostics and see creation (flesh) as evil and spirit (intellect) as good. Mani’s made Adam aware of goodness in the heavens and but being stuck in creation. “Cursed be the creator of my body and he who bound my soul and they who have made me their slave.” Jesus is only the personification of the Cosmic Light that is imprisoned in matter and suffers in nature everyday. The purpose for each member (the elect) was to overcome his passions and flesh and to enter into the spiritual realm and intellect. There ultimate goal was to set the light substance free from the pollution of mater.
Manichaeist hated christianity and saw it as an inferior religion. Our catholic faith teaches us that God created all things good, our soul and our body. They work together. Yes as St. Paul says the flesh struggles against the flesh, but the flesh is good and once submitted to reason serves well.
St. Peter of Verona used the creed. That is why it is important to simply go back to the Nicene Creed when arguing with non catholics. In this case, it says “I believe in on God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. This shows that God made creation. It goes on to to say that Jesus is light from light. It is simple when we say One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. Where are the other churches in this creed?
Looking at Manichaeism, we see the need for the traditional catholic mass that uses all our senses and shows beauty. Creation is beautiful. The Tridentine Mass is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. It gives us, through created matter, (vestments, gregorian chant, church, gold chalices, bells, incense, altars) the vision of uncreated matter. Thank God we can enter through good creation into what is beyond our senses.
St. Peter wanted and prayed to die for Jesus and was granted his wish. With his own blood flowing from his head he wrote his last testament on the ground,” I believe in one God”, and died. He was always a virgin and kept purity of body and soul. St. Peter pray for us who have temptations and help us too be pure and holy.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.