Peter Martyr

c.1205-1252. Dominican reformer. Born of Cathari* parents in Verona, he was converted to Romanism while a student in Bologna. He entered the Dominican Order in 1221, perhaps under Dominic's personal influence, and soon distinguished himself as an ardent, eloquent opponent of the Cathari. He won many back to Roman Catholicism in the cities of N and central Italy, organized cells of laymen to combat heresy, and successively held priorships of several Dominican houses. The papacy recognized his effectiveness and zeal by appointing him papal inquisitor in 1232 and again in 1251. En route from Como to Milan in 1252 he was assassinated by Cathari. The following year he was canonized by Innocent IV. His martyrdom became a favorite theme in late medieval art and was depicted by Titian's work in the Venetian church of SS Giovanni e Paulo. He was named a patron of the Holy See.