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I find it very fitting, and one could argue that’s it’s providential, that the memorial of Saint Peter Damian is falling on the first day of the Vatican’s Sex Abuse Summit. Known as the “Monitor of the Popes,” St. Peter Damian was given the authority to oversee papal households and to govern Church business. If there was ever a saint’s intercession that we needed this week, it would be the intercession of St. Peter Damian.
He was born in Ravenna, Italy in the beginning of the 11th century. After losing his both of his parents at a young age, one of his older brothers took care of him. He was sent to school by his brother and became a great student who had the skills to learn well and eventually teach others. From his earliest days at school, he focused his attention on prayer, study, work and fasting.
Benedictine - Hermitage - Prayer - Reading - Hermitage
He would eventually join an austere Benedictine hermitage, which suited him well since he enjoyed deep prayer and spiritual reading. After sometime in the hermitage, he was elected by his brothers to be abbot, and although reluctant to take it at first, he obediently accepted the position. He focused his brothers on the importance of monasticism, humility, and charity.
Being that he was so good as the governor of these hermitages, Popes during his lifetime asked him to be a monitor to the Chair of Saint Peter. Pope Stephen IX elevated him to cardinal-bishop of Ostia. He never enjoyed being bishop of Ostia and constantly asked to be removed from this position in order to return to his hermitage. Finally, Pope Alexander II, released him of his duties as bishop, but asked him to be an advisor on important church business.
Fever - Way - Ravenna - St - Peter
After contracting a fever on his way back to Ravenna, St. Peter Damian died...
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