- Pierre d’Atroa
Eldest of three children. Following a message from the Blessed Virgin, he became the spiritual student of Saint Paul the Hesychast. Monk at age 18 at Crypta, Phrygia (in modern Turkey), taking the name Peter. Ordained at Zygos, Greece. On the day of his ordination he healed a possessed man at the door of the church, which was the beginning of a ministry of healing. Noted confessor, able to read the souls of his parishioners.
He began a pilgrimage with his teacher Saint Paul to Jerusalem, but they did not make it there. A vision from God sent them to Mount Olympus in Bithynia where Paul founded a monastery at the chapel of Saint Zachary near Atroa, and served as its first abbot. When Paul died in 805, 32-year-old Peter succeeded him as abbot. The monastery flourished, but in 815 Peter closed it due to the persecutions of the iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Armenian. Peter moved to Ephesus and then to Crete.
Due to his support of the use of icons, Peter found that he was a wanted man. He escaped imperial troops by miraculously becoming invisible. He briefly returned to his family home where his brother Christopher and widowed mother received monastic habits from his hands. He then settled for several years at Kalonaros near the Hellespont, but his own fame as a healer forced him to move on. His wonder-working caused an accusation of practicing magic and invoking devils, but he was completely cleared by Saint Theodore Studites.
Hermit near Atroa. Restored the Saint Zachary monastery and reorganized several others. However, after a few years of this work there was another outbreak of iconoclasm. This included his own bishop, and for their safety he sent his brother monks into hiding. When the persecutions turned violent, Peter retired to Saint Porphyry monastery on the Hellespont, and except for a brief visit to his friend Saint Joannicus of Mount Olympus at Balea, he never left again.
- Dictionary of Saints, by John J Delaney
- “Saint Peter of Atroa”. Saints.SQPN.com. 6 December 2009. Web. 12 December 2013. <http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-peter-of-atroa/>