Saint Peter illustriously occupied the throne of Alexandria for twelve years, and, as Eusebius says, “was a divine example of a bishop on account of the excellence of his life and his study of the Sacred Scriptures” (see Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., Book VII, 3 2; Book VIII 11, 13; and Book IX, 6). He excommunicated Arius for his sympathy with the Meletian schism. Melitius, Bishop of Lycopolos, rejected the idea that the lapsed could return to the Church and thus created a schismatic group.
When Arius learned that Saint Peter had been imprisoned, he sent many priests and deacons to him, asking that he receive him back into the communion of the Church before his martyrdom (he did this in the hope of becoming Bishop of Alexandria). When the ambassadors of Arius, among whom were Achilles and Alexander the presbyters, who had not, like Saint Peter, perceived the ruin he would engender, were astonished at the vehemence with which Saint Peter refused to receive Arius again, he revealed to them a dread vision he had seen. In the vision the Master Christ had appeared to him as an adolescent of 12 years of age wearing a white garment torn from head to foot which He held with His hands to His breast to cover His nakedness. When Saint Peter asked the Lord who rent His garment, the Lord answered that it was Arius, and that he must not be received back into communion because he rent and tore asunder His people in the Church. The Lord also told Peter to bless Achilles as his successor and Alexander as Achilles’ successor so as to prevent Arius from coming to the episcopal throne of Alexandria. Eventually, the motif of the torn garment became a metaphor for schisms and for the Arian misinterpretation of the Trinity.
The holy hieromartyr Peter was beheaded during the reign of Maximinus in the year 312; he is called the “Seal of the Martyrs,” because he was the last Bishop of Alexandria to suffer martyrdom under the pagan Emperors. His successors to the throne of Alexandria, Saints Alexander and Athanasius the Great, brought to final victory the battle against Arius’ heresy and Meletius’ schism which Saint Peter had begun.
INTROIT Psalm 20:2-3
In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Thou hast given him his heart’s desire v. For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat Thine to defend me, O God…
Be mindful of our weakness, almighty God, and because the burden of our sins weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of blessed Peter, Your Martyr and Bishop, sustain us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Com. Octave of St Edmund
O God, whose mercy is beyond all telling, and who didst give the blessed King Edmund strength to overcome his enemy by dying for Thy sake, in Thy loving kindness grant that by his intercession we, Thy servants, may have grace to conquer and extinguish in ourselves the promptings of our ancient foe.
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
EPISTLE Wisdom 10:10-14
She conducted the just, when he fled from his brother’s wrath, through the right ways, and shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things, made him honourable in his labours, and accomplished his labours. In the deceit of them that overreached him, she stood by him, and made him honourable. She kept him safe from his enemies, and she defended him from seducers, and gave him a strong conflict, that he might overcome, and know that wisdom is mightier than all. She forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners: she went down with him into the pit. And in bands she left him not, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: and shewed them to be liars that had accused him, and gave him everlasting glory.
GRADUAL Psalm 111:1-2
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.Allelúja, allelúja Ps 20:4 For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. Allelúja.
GOSPEL Matthew 10:34-42
In that time: Jesus said to his disciples: Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And as a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man. And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
OFFERTORY Psalm 8:6-7
Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour: and hast set him over the works of thy hands.
O Lord, graciously accept, through the merits of Your blessed Martyr and Bishop, Peter, the sacrificial gifts dedicated to You, and grant that they may prove to be for us a lasting help.Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Com. Oct. St Edmund
Look graciously, we pray Thee, almighty God, upon this redeeming sacrifice, and at the intercession of Thy blessed martyr King Edmund, accept it as a peace-offering on behalf of Thy servants here.
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION Matthew 16:24
He who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Refreshed by partaking of the sacred gift, we beseech You, O Lord our God, that we may enjoy the benefits of the rite we perform through the intercession of blessed Peter, Your Martyr and Bishop.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Com. Oct. St Edmund
May the tribute of our homage be pleasing to Thee, almighty God; and, at the intercession of Thy blessed martyr King Edmund, may this sacrament which we have taken help us to lay hold of the rewards of everlasting life.
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.