St. Peter Damian

>> Thursday, February 22, 2007

February 23

St. Peter Damian was born in 988 in Ravenna, Italy. “He was the youngest of a large family; his parents were noble, but poor. At his birth an elder brother protested against this new charge on the resources of the family with such effect that his mother refused to suckle him and the babe nearly died. A family retainer, however, fed the starving child and by example and reproaches recalled his mother to her duty. Left an orphan in early years, he was at first adopted by an elder brother, who ill-treated and under-fed him while employing him as a swineherd. The child showed signs of great piety and of remarkable intellectual gifts, and after some years of this servitude another brother, who was archpriest at Ravenna, had pity on him and took him away to be educated. this brother was called Damian and it was generally accepted that St. Peter added this name to his own in grateful recognition of his brother's kindness. “ (Catholic Encyclopedia(.

St. Peter was a very intelligent and pious young man and by the time he was 25 was teaching at the University at Parma and Ravenna. As a pious man he was given to fasting as well as mortification of the senses. University life disturbed him greatly so left to seek a deeper spiritual life. First he joined two hermits but after a 40 day retreat in a small cell he left quietly for the hermitage of Fonte-Avellana where he received the Benedictine habit.

Over time his health suffered due to his strict austerity. Try as he might to retire to a quiet monastic life he was often called on to be the Papal Legate to seek Peace between monasteries. He was outspoken regarding purity, most especially for priests who at this time were becoming more and more worldly. He was also well-known for his great writings.

In 1072, St. Peter was seized with a fever which lasted 7 days. “On the night preceding the feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, he ordered the office of the feast to be recited and at the end of the Lauds he died.” (Catholic Encyclopedia) There was never any formal canonization for St. Peter. Because of his holy life “cultus” developed almost immediately after his death which was approved and extended to the whole Church in 1823 by Pope Leo XII.


  © Blogger templates Sunset by 2008

Back to TOP