Peter of Verona (1205 – 52) was the first canonized martyr of the Dominican Order. Born in Verona, Italy, of parents who had embraced the heresy of Cartharism, he was educated at the University of Bologna and was accepted into the Dominican Order by Dominic himself. Because the Dominicans were theologically trained preachers, the popes entrusted the Inquisition to them. In 1234 Peter was appointed inquisitor for the Milan area, and in 1251 his jurisdiction was extended to most of northern Italy. Although he attracted huge crowds with his preaching, as an inquisitor he also made enemies. He was martyred at the age of forty-seven. As he lay dying from the blow of a heretic’s ax, Peter dipped his finger into his blood and attempted to write on the ground, “I believed in one God,” His murderer Carino, renounced heresy, became a Dominican cooperator brother, and died with a reputation for sanctity.
The above excerpt is from Reflections of Dominican Spirituality: The Windows of St. Dominic Church, Washington, D.C. by Dr. Mary Moran.