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Peter the Aleut

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[[Image:Peter the Aleut.jpg|right|frame|St. Peter the Aleut]]The holy martyr '''Peter the Aleut'' (or '''Cungagnaq''', presumably in his native tongue) was probably a native of Kodiak Island (Aleutian Islands). He is said to have received the Christian name of Peter when he was baptized into the [[Orthodox Church|Orthodox]] faith by the [[monk]]s of [[Herman of Alaska|St. Herman]]'s - —missionaries operating in the north. In 1815 a group of Aleut seal and otter hunters, including Peter, was captured by Spanish sailors, who took them to San Francisco for interrogation. With threats of torture, the [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]] priests in California attempted to force the Aleuts to deny their [[Orthodox Church|Orthodox]] faith and to convert to [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholicism]].
When the Aleuts refused, the priest had a toe severed from each of Peter's feet. Peter still refused to renounce his faith and the Spanish priest ordered a group of California Indians to cut off each finger of Peter's hands, one joint at a time, finally removing both his hands. They eventually disemboweled him, crowning his life with [[martyr]]dom. They were about to torture the next Aleut when orders were received to release them.
Upon receiving the report of Peter's death, [[Herman of Alaska|St. Herman]] back on Kodiak Island was moved to cry out, "Holy new-martyr Peter, pray to God for us!" Peter the Aleut was formally declared a [[Saintsaint]] as the "Martyr of San Francisco" in 1980. His feast day is commemorated in the Orthodox faith Church on [[September 24]].
[[Category:American Saints]]
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