Peter’s father was a city councilor, his mother was from a noble family, and the boy was raised in a pious household. He received a good education, and was drawn early to religious life, with a personal devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. He joined the Dominicans in Piedmont, Italy at age 16. He continued his studies, and was ordained at age 25, and was a noted preacher throughout northern Italy. He worked to bring the heretical Waldensians back to the Church, and was appointed inquisitor-general of the Piedmont.
In January 1365 Peter and two Dominican brothers went on a preaching mission through the mountains between Italy and Switzerland, working from the Franciscan friary at Susa, Italy. Peter’s preaching brought many back to the faith, which earned him the anger of the Waldensians. Three of the heretics came to the friary, asked to see Peter, and then murdered him at the gate.
Blessed Simon Ballachi was born to the nobility in 1240, the son of Count Ballachi. His family had a close association with the Church clergy; two of his uncles became archbishops of Rimini, Italy, and a younger brother was a priest. Trained as a soldier and in administration, he was expected to take over the family estates. Against his family wishes, he joined the Dominicans as a lay brother at age 27.
Assigned to work in the garden of his friary, something he knew nothing about but which he loved instantly. He saw God in everything, and prayed constantly as he worked. Noted for his simple life, his strict adherence to the Dominican Rule, and his excellent work as a catechist to children. A visionary, Simon was visited by the devil, by Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Dominic de Guzman, Saint Peter Martyr, and the Blessed Virgin Mary; other brothers saw his cell glowing, and heard angelic voices. Blinded at age 57, he was nearly helpless during the last years of his life; he never despaired, and used the extra free time for prayer. He died on 5 November in 1391.