Above: England and France, 1152-1327
SAINT PETER OF TARENTAISE (1102-1175)
Roman Catholic Archbishop
One ought not to confuse Saint Peter of Tarentaise with another Peter of Tarentaise, also known as Blessed Innocent V (1225-1276).
Born at Vienne, France, St. Peter of Tarentaise joined the Cistercians (at Bonnevaux) at age twenty, preceding his father and two brothers in the order. The saint’s progress in the order was as follows: He became superior of a new Cistercian house at Tamie, in the Tarentaise Mountains, near the Alpine pass between Geneva and Savoy. At that house he built a hospice. In 1142 he became Archbishop of Tarentaise against his will. As archbishop the saint replaced corrupt clergy at the cathedral, fostered education, and helped the poor. St. Peter ran away to a Cistercian abbey in Switzerland in 1155, but had to return to his post next year.
St. Peter also became involved in an imperial-papal dispute. German King and Holy Roman Emperor Frederic I Barbarossa (reigned 1152-1190) was interfering in Italy and the Church. Newly elected Pope Alexander III (reigned 1159-1181) continued his predecessor’s policy of defying Barbarossa. Cardinals loyal to Barbarossa elected an antipope, Victor IV (reigned 1159-1164). This papal schism lasted for eighteen years. The saint supported Alexander III and defied Barbarossa.
St. Peter also attempted to make peace in several prominent disputes. One of these was the rivalry (over decades) between King Henry II of England (reigned 1154-1189) and King Louis VII of France (reigned 1137-1180). The troubled relationship between the two monarchs led to diplomatic and military battles, and others paid the price. Two reasons for the rivalry were (1) Eleanor of Aquitaine, once married to Louis VII but then wed to Henry II, and (2) the territory she brought to Henry’s Angevin Empire. The saint attempted (in 1174-1175) to establish peace, but did not succeed. Having fallen ill during the journey back to Tarentaise, he died at Bellevaux Abbey.
The Roman Catholic Church canonized St. Peter of Tarentaise in 1191.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
–Matthew 5:9, Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition
And blessed are those who try to make to peace and who have made the attempt.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
APRIL 1, 2012 COMMON ERA
PALM SUNDAY, YEAR B
THE FEAST OF SAINTS SYRAGIUS OF AUTUN AND ANACHARIUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS, AND VALERY OF LEUCONE AND EUSTACE OF LUXEUIT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS
THE FEAST OF FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, ANGLICAN PRIEST
THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIDONIUS APOLLINARIS, EUSTACE OF LYON, AND HIS DESCENDANTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church, including your servant Saint Peter of Tarentaise.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:-1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
—Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60