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Birth: 1355

Death: 1435


At the age of twenty-five, Peter Gambacorta fled from his privileged place in the court life of Pisa, Italy to live as a hermit on the slopes of Mount Bello. In this he was undoubtedly influenced by the example of his younger sister, (Blessed) Clare, who as a young widow had left home to become a Dominican nun. On Mount Bello, Peter soon established a religious community, accepting as his followers twelve men said to have been former robbers that he had converted from a life of crime. Peter’s religious congregation became known as the Hermits of Saint Jerome, for which he composed a rule that prescribed frequent fasts and two hours of nocturnal private prayer following the midnight recitation of the office of Matins. Peter himself observed a rigorous personal regimen of prayer that included the threefold repetition of the penitential psalms 51 (the Miserere) and 130 (the De profundis), and the Marian hymn, Salve Regina (“Hail, Holy Queen”).


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