St Peter Damian


Today we celebrate the memorial of St Peter Damian.

St Peter Damian was born in Ravenna, Italy, in 1007. He was the youngest child of a noble family and, when he was orphaned at an early age, he was adopted by an older brother who treated him more like a servant than a sibling. After several years of mistreatment, another brother had pity on him and took him away to be educated. He was a brilliant pupil and mastered theology and canon law to become a professor by 25.

After a time, Peter decided to leave the world and so enter a hermitage in Italy. By a unanimous vote, it was decided that Peter should take on the abbot’s role in the event of the latter’s death. His extreme reluctance to take on this role led the abbot to make it a matter of obedience.

Peter took on the role of abbot in 1043 and governed with great wisdom and piety: his main priority was to foster in his disciples a spirit of solitude, charity and humility. Pope Stephen IX made him Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, however Peter constantly requested leave to resign and return to solitude – which was refused.

St Peter Damian is a Doctor of the Church and is known as a great reformer of his time.

St Peter Damian, pray for us


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