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St. Peter of Arbues

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(Correctly, PETER ARBUES).

Born in 1441 (or 1442); died 17 Sept., 1485. His father, a nobleman, was Antonio Arbues, and his mother's name was Sancia Ruiz. He studied philosophy, probably at Huesca, but later went to Bologna, where in the Spanish college of St. Clement he was regarded as a model of learning and piety, and was graduated in theology and law. Returning to Spain he became a canon regular at Saragossa, where he made his religious profession in 1474. About that time Ferdinand and Isabella had obtained from Sixtus IV a Bull to establish in their kingdom a tribunal for searching out heretics, and especially Jews who after having received baptism had relapsed openly or secretly into Judaism ; these were known as Marranos. The famous Thomas Torquemada, in 1483, was appointed grand inquisitor over Castile and, being acquainted with the learning and virtue of Peter Arbues, named him inquisitor provincial in the Kingdom of Aragon (1484). Peter performed the duties with zeal and justice. Although the enemies of the Inquisition accuse him of cruelty, it is certain that not a single sentence of death can be traced to him (see INQUISITION). The Marranos, however, whom he had punished hated and resolved to do away with him. One night while kneeling in prayer before the altar of Our Lady in the metropolitan church, where he used to recite the office with his brother canons, they attacked him, and hired assassins inflicted several wounds from which he died two days after. He was canonized by Pius IX, in 1867.


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