Saint Peter of Alcántara: Franciscan Reformer

On October 22, Franciscans in the USA celebrate the memory of Saint Peter of Alcántara, a famous reformer of Franciscan life (in most of the world, his feast is observed on October 19).

Effective preacher, spiritual leader

Peter was born in 1499 in the town of Alcántara in the Extremadura region of Spain. He was sent to the University of Salamanca to study law, but at age 16, he decided to join the small Discalced reform movement of the Franciscans. In 1519, most of these friars joined the Franciscans of the Regular Observance, but forming their own province of San Gabriel in Extremadura. Peter was ordained in 1524, and even as a young friar gained the reputation of being an effective preacher and spiritual leader.

St Peter of Alcantara friary he founded 700pxlsFriary of El Palancar, Pedroso de Acim, Spain, founded by Peter in 1557.

Extremely austere lifestyle

Elected provincial minister of San Gabriel in 1538, Peter

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