Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here
Subscribe to Aleteia's free newsletter: Goodness. Beauty. Truth. No yelling.
Sign me up!

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia

Subscribe

Aleteia

Teenage boy devotes last months of his life to the poor

SOUP KITCHEN
Addkm | Shutterstock
Share

When Nicholas Peters found out he was dying he decided to offer “food and God” to the needy.

If you had just a few months left to live, how would you want to spend your time?

Most of us would probably want to be with family and friends, or maybe visiting places we’d always dreamed of seeing. But for 19-year-old Nicholas Peters, after a three year battle with liver cancer, when he realized he had little time left, he decided to devote his time and energy to helping others.

Having read the Bible 15 times during his treatment, Nicholas was inspired to spread the Word to vulnerable members of society, while ensuring they were well fed. Along with a companion the family had hired named Mel, Nicholas took to the streets for 40 hours a week to offer “food and God” to the homebound and the homeless, his mom Becky Peters explained in Catholic San Francisco.

By working in soup kitchens and homeless encampments, the teen was able to offer a supportive presence to those in need. And if that weren’t enough, after he’d finish his work he would head to parks with any leftovers from the soup kitchen.

However, Nicholas’ desire to help the needy went beyond offering food and spiritual comfort. The youngster also offered practical advice, such as helping with resumés, as well as trying to find solutions for finding a place for the homeless to sleep. All this with the knowledge that he would soon be dying.

Jennifer Krau, a nurse who treated Nicholas at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, explains the impact of her patient’s efforts in a letter she wrote to him:

Nicholas, without ever intending to, you have taught me that the measure of who we are lies in the person we choose to be as we face our darkest days.

 

Becky Peters, the mom of the former student of St. Charles School, San Carlos, explained that her son’s “biggest mission was spreading God’s word and giving dignity to the homeless,” during an awards ceremony at the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo County in September.

The organization wanted to pay tribute to Nicholas’ selfless work by renaming their youth service award the “Nicholas J. Peters Ozanam Spirit Award.” The future recipient will be a young person who has demonstrated service to the poor and needy. Fittingly, the award honors the lives of Nicholas, along with Frederic Ozanam, the French university student who founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Read more: 7 Holy teenagers who passionately followed Jesus Christ

Read more: Worried about your rebellious teenager? Here’s your patron saint

 

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]
Readers like you contribute to Aleteia's Mission.

Since our inception in 2012, Aleteia’s readership has grown rapidly worldwide. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life. That's why we want our articles to be freely accessible to everyone, but we need your help to do that. Quality journalism has a cost (more than selling ads on Aleteia can cover). That's why readers like you make a major difference by donating as little as $3 a month.