Saint Peter Martyr

Saint Peter Martyr Healing the Leg of a Young Man, c. 1450
Antonio Vivarini
Metropolitan Museum in New York

 

Saint Peter Martyr, 1205-1252, was a Verona born Dominican friar who became Papal Inquisitor and preached against prevailing heresies. Killed by an assassin, who struck his head with an axe, he was canonized by Pope Innocent IV within one year of his death. While alive, he had many miracles attributed to him.

The painting from the Metropolitan Museum in New York is by the Venetian painter Antonio Vivarini. Set in a carpenter’s shop, it shows the saint reattaching the leg of a youth who had cut it off in remorse for having kicked his mother. Such advanced vascular surgery was presumably carried out successfully and without complications.

 


George Dunea, MD, Editor-in-Chief