Peter of Dacia
A brief biography.
Peter of Dacia joined the Dominicans in the priory of Visby after 1240. He studied in Köln, probably from 1266 till 1269 as pupol of Albert the Great ?, and at Paris from 1269 till 27 July 1270. There he was a pupil of Thomas Aquinas.
He was the lector of the priory in Skänninge from 1271 till 1278 and prior of the priory in Västeras from 1278 till 1279. At last Peer was the prior of the priory of the first Dominican priory St. Nicholas in Visby from 1279 till 1284. There he he wrote the ruinspel, that since 1929 in the church St. Nicholas of Visby is performed.
Peter of Dacia was the spiritual director and biographer of the mystica Christine of Stommeln. He wrote her biography.
Christina is believed to have been born on July 24, 1242, to farmers Heinrich and Hilla Bruso in the village of Stumbeln (now Stommeln), northwest of Cologne. At the age of five, she began to experience religious visions. When she was twelve her parents wished to arrange her marriage, but she left home without their permission and joined a Beguine community in Cologne. At the age of fifteen, she manifested stigmata on her hands, feet, and head.
This, combined with other mystic experiences, convinced others in the community that she was insane and she was treated with contempt, leading her to return to her home village in 1267.
On her return to Stommeln, she was taken in by the parish priest, Johannes. The Dominican, Peter of Dacia, going to the college of his order in Cologne visited her in 1270 on his way back from Paris to Gotland, and again in 1279; in his account of her he mentions altogether fifteen visits.
Following Peter's death in Visby, in 1288, Christine's mystic experiences ceased. She left the priest's household and moved into a small cloister, where she lived a quiet life.Visitors from Rom, Reval, Ungarn, England, Böhmen and Polen sought her advice.
She died at the age of 70 on November 6, 1312. She was first buried in the Stommeln churchyard, but her remains have moved several times: first into the church, then in 1342 to Nideggen, and finally in 1569 to the Propsteikirche (Provost's Church) in Jülich, where a monument to Christine still exists.
Her relics survived the destruction of the Provost's Church during the Allies' air raid on Jülich on November 16, 1944. Christina of Stommeln was beatified on November 8, 1908.
Christine's brother followed Peter to Gotland and entered the Dominican Order.
Sight of the north-gate of the town-walls of Visby.
Against these walls, or in the chruch St. Nicholas,
people play every year the Ruinspel of Peter of Dacia.
Sweden 1965, Mi 531, Sc 678.
1971, postmark Visby: Petrus de Dacia.
Sweden 1971. Postmark Visby, 07.07.1971,
with the text Ruinspel. Petrus de Dacia.
Sweden 1969: 60 Year the Ruinspel
of Petrus de Dacia in Visby.
Sweden. The same postmark only with the name: Petrus de Dacia in 1964, 1965, 1967.
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