Peter of Constantinople, the Tax Collector in Africa
Saint Peter of Constantinople was a former chief of tax collectors in Africa. Being a cruel and heartless man, he cared none about the poor and needy, abusing his power whenever he could. One day, he passed a beggar who pleaded at his feet for some food, and Peter annoyed, threw some bread at the man to be rid of him. Soon later, Peter had a vision where the Angels were weighing his good deeds against his bad ones. The bad side was overflowing, but to his surprise, he saw the small piece of bread he threw at the beggar on the good side. This made him think about how such a deed was seen as charity in the eyes of God and repented instantly. He fed the poor, nursed the sick, and clothed the naked. He later had a vision of Christ dressed in the clothes he once gave to a beggar, giving him His blessing. The Saint then sold all his possessions and ordered his own slave to sell him as a slave. Peter diligently served his new master, but when he was recognised by former work men, he fled the city. On his departure, he called out to the gate keeper who was deaf and a mute. As he heard of the voice of Saint Peter ordering him to open the gates, a fire came from the saint’s mouth and onto the gate keeper, healing him of his ailments. Having left the city, the Saint kept hidden for the rest of his life.