Oil dedicated to martyr St Peter of Rates on prayer cloth
Martyr St Peter of Rates , also known in English as Saint Peter of Braga, is traditionally considered to be the first bishop of Braga between the years 45 and 60. He has been ordered to preach the Christian faith by Saint James the Great, and Peter of Rates was martyred while attempting to make converts to the Christian faith in northern Portugal. The ancient Breviary of Braga and the Breviary of Evora hold that Peter of Rates was a disciple of St. James and preached at Braga.
Peter had some connection with the St. James the Great while the Apostle was in Spain. He was martyred at Braga after becoming the city’s first bishop. Recent scholarship puts the actual date of Braga’s life and work to the fifth or sixth century.
Saint Peter’s Death
In the 18th century, Saint Peter of Rates was beheaded while drinking the waters of the fountain in Balasar. The population believes that two indentations on the fountain are impressions from the saint’s knees. At the fountain of Rates, a stone is believed to cure in cases of sterility. Due to that belief, on 26 April every year, the feast day of Saint Peter of Rates.