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St Peter Martyr

Born in Verona in 1205, he was received into the Dominican Order by Dominic himself in 1221, while a student at Bologna University. He was energetic in seeking out heresy and punishing the offenders. This led to his assassination in 1252, when he was attacked while on a journey by hired assassins, in the pay of two Venetian Cathars whose property he had confiscated.

He is recognisable in altarpieces as being dressed in the Dominican habit of black and white, with an axe penetrating his skull. In paintings of his death he is shown on the ground with a hand raised to protect himself, while one or more of his attackers beats him with staves and axes. His companion is seen running away, pursued by an attacker.