Today’s Saint of the Day is Saint Peter Fourier, a French canon regular in the Roman Catholic Church.
St. Peter Fourier was born on November 30, 1565, in Mirecourt, Lorraine, a Catholic Counter-Reformation stronghold in the Holy Roman Empire.
He is best remembered for his young start in the priesthood and his revolutionary reforms to preaching.
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St. Peter Fourier was born on November 30, 1565, in Mirecourt, Lorraine, a Catholic Counter-Reformation stronghold in the Holy Roman Empire. He was the oldest of three boys born to a textile trader and his Catholic wife. At the age of 15, he enrolled at Pont-a-Mousson University. There, he tutored numerous aristocratic boys and a Chaumousey Abbey’s regular Augustinian Canon.
In 1589, he was ordained and returned to University, mastering patristic theology and memorizing Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica. He revived the spiritual life of the area and built charities and banks for the poor in Mattaincourt, Vosges, France. A spiritual educator at Bless Alix le Clerc. He founded the Daughters of Our Lady in 1598 and the Immaculate Conception Sodality (Maria’s Children). His attempt to establish a parallel order for boys failed.
In 1621, he was urged to reform his Lorraine order. When he was sent to Salm in 1625, all the apostate Catholics returned to the Church within six months. He refused to swear allegiance to King Louis XIII and spent the rest of his life in exile at Gray, Haute-Saone, France, where he died on December 9, 1640.
- He joined the seminary of the canons regular of the Abbey in 1585, and two years later, he made his profession vows.
- On February 24, 1589, at the extraordinary age of 23, he was consecrated as a priest in Trier.
- The University and the Count-Bishop of Metz officials admired him and awarded St. Peter Fourier a prestigious clerical position. Instead, St. Peter Fourier returned to his monastery.
- When his abbot assigned him a place in 1597, Fourier turned down two prestigious possibilities and chose to be the vicar of Mattaincourt parish to fight the town’s religious apathy and growing Calvinism.
- With his knowledge and compassion for his flock, Fourier made two key improvements. The first was to establish a communal bank where residents could borrow money without paying interest. Second, he used talks with parish small groups to better understand their Catholic beliefs.
- On Sundays, St. Peter Fourier had his students participate in rationalistic on the different virtues and vices practiced by the gathering. This approach was very effective.
- The number of schools administered by the nuns had increased to forty by the time of his death.
- St. Peter Fourier’s vision was brought to Canada by St. Marguerite Bourgeoys in 1654, who was the head of the sodality of volunteers.