Blessed Peter the Customs Inspector of Constantinople (6th c.)

Commemorated on January 20

"Saint Peter, being of patrician rank, was appointed by the Emperor Justinian (527-65) to administer the Roman province of Africa. Harsh and without an ounce of compassion, he became universally known as 'the Miser'. One day a beggar was importuning him insistently for alms, so he picked up one of the warm loaves which his servant had just brought in and threw it like a stone at his head. The beggar seized it with delight and made off. Two days later Peter suddenly fell ill with the fever and saw himself appear at the Last Judgment to give an account of all his deeds. A pair of scales was brought before him and swarthy creatures placed all his evil actions on to the left-hand dish, while bright angels stood to the right, in dismay at having nothing by way of a good deed to put on to the right-hand side except the loaf which he had thrown in anger at the beggar. Peter then woke up with a start and, forgetful of his illness, hastened to give away all his goods to the needy, even his clothing. Afterwards in a dream, he saw Christ wearing the clothes he had given away, and so he decided not to stop at that but to sell himself as slave to a goldsmith in order to give alms of the price paid for him. Some time later, fearing lest his identity be discovered, he fled to Jerusalem and thence to Constantinople, where he gave back his soul in peace to God in his old house." (Synaxarion)
  The source of this story is the longer Life of St John the Merciful (November 12).

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