He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down; he ate but once in three days; his sack-cloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.
Feast Day of Saint Peter of Alcantara
The Feast Day of Saint Peter of Alcantara is October 19. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day.
The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.