Peter of Verona is a saint without a life. Long the subject of cross-confessional volleys of invective, the thirteenth-century Dominican inquisitor lacks a modern critical biography. In addition, no systematic study of his long-lasting and far-reaching cult has appeared. This is unfortunate as he was a saint who excited substantial interest among his contemporaries. Born among those with Cathar sympathies, he became a convert to Catholicism. As one of the first generation of Dominicans, he represents aspects of their primitive history both as a spellbinding preacher and as one of the earliest and most famous papal inquisitors. He was active in the papal-imperial controversies of the mid-thirteenth century, and his life provides a touchstone to understand civic and religious realities in medieval Italy. Upon his death, his cult was both immediate and significant. In an age of few martyrs, he was acclaimed by great numbers of his contemporaries as having died for the faith, much like Thomas Becket. Peter's martyrdom provided the papacy with a saint who was anti-imperial and anti-heretical. His canonization represented one of the first attempts of the Roman curia to create and maintain a trans-national cult through legislation. When his cult confronted opposition, both heretics and churchmen had to refine their respective theologies of sainthood. Finally, the spread of his cult portended the consolidation of Dominican identity, especially when confronted with Franciscan ideals. Even today Peter is a figure of contradiction: the Sainted Inquisitor and the Martyred Persecutor. Such dichotomies demand investigation.