Blessed Peter Berno

Blessed Peter Berno

Peter Berno


  • Death: 07/25/1583
  • Nationality (place of birth): Swiss

Peter Berno (1552-1583) was born in Switzerland on the shores of Lago Maggiore, but came to Rome with his family and was able to study at the German College. He entered the Jesuit novitiate of Sant'Andrea in Rome in 1577 and was assigned to the missions in India four months later. He accompanied Acquaviva to Lisbon, Portugal, but stayed there to finish his novitiate. Once he arrived in Goa in 1579 he finished his training and was ordained a priest. Berno had an engaging personality and won over many people at the Margão mission in the Salsette peninsula. However, he also accompanied the 1582 Portuguese expedition against the inhabitants of Cuncolim and helped destroy Hindu shrines and temples. His presence on that expedition was not forgotten when he accompanied Acquaviva back to Cuncolim to erect a small chapel and cross. People also remembered that Berno had killed a sacred cow and desecrated a sacred ant hill. He was the third of the five missionaries to die.

More at Rodulfus Acquaviva and four companions

Originally Collected and edited by: Tom Rochford, SJ