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THE blessed death of Br Peter of St Andrew occured in the early part of the year 1643, in the city of Dublin, where, probably, he was born.  At first he was attached, as a servant, to the residence of the Carmelite missionaries, to whom he gave his services gratis.  After a time, on account of his singular probity and prudence, he was associated to the Order as a laybrother.  The attempt made by the Catholic army to gain possession of Dublin having proved unsuccessful, the fury of the dominant secaries thereupon burst forth, in revenge and retaliation, against the inhabitants of the city.  The members of the religious orders, at all times the chief objects of the hatred of the heretics, were now especially sought for, on suspicion of being concerned in the insurrection.  Several were seized and imprisoned; some were put to death.

During these events, the Carmelite Fathers, driven from their convent, which was changed into a theatre, left the city.  A few only remained behind to afford by stealth what assistance and consolation they could to the afflicted Catholics.  Br Peter was among the number.  He succeeded in eluding his pursuers until the commencement of the month of March.  When he was apprehended and thrown into prison, together with several other Catholics.  Here, in a short time, the hardships to which he was subjected brought on a severe illness. 

During an exchange of prisoners, Br Peter's doom was unintentionally accelerated by the great eagerness for his release betrayed by the Catholic side; for the heretics, perceiving that he was regarded by them as a person of importance, instantly resolved on his destruction, and in tumultuous Puritan fashion, adjudged him guilty of the awful crime of being a monk, and one who should consequently be exterminated.  Br Peter was condemned to be hanged, and forthwith an emissary was despatched to apprise him of his fate. 

On the 25th of March, the festival of the Annunciation, the fatal sentence was conveyed to him, when he was sick in bed.  The good Brother received it with incredible joy, and congratulating the Mother of God on the high dignity to which she was on that day raised, and commending himself to her powerful protection, he at once arose from his bed, saying: 'From the cross, not from the bed, I must to heaven.'  But presently he was convulsed, and overwhelmed with the fear of death, as if the Almighty, who is the strength of the weak, withdrew His arm for an instant, thus to convince His servant how indispensable is the need of His help to weak mortals in the hour of trial. 

Br Peter, prostrate in the agoiny of his soul before God, confessed his utter helplessness, and implored the divine assistance.  He did not pray in vain. 

His fellow-captives besought him to return to his bed, in the hope that his jailers might be moved by his malady to defer, if not altogether abandon, his execution in the course of time.  But their advice, more apt to soothe that to overcome the natural infirmity of the flesh, was made use of by God for the perfecting of His work. 

The Almighty now poured an abundance of His strengthening grace into the soul of His humble servant, and gave new and marvellous speech to this tongue.  'Why, my friends, do you counsel me such things?' said Br Peter.  'Encourage me rather, weak and cowardly man that I am; urge me to combat and pray God in my behalf that He may be pleased to bring me forth victorious from the prison of this rebellious flesh.  I must die for Jesus Christ; I must die now, lest perhaps the delaying of death should imperil the victory.  He will give the victory; He will anoint His soldier, and I in the feebleness of my heart, will confess His name, to Whom victory is due.'