St. Peter Damian

The medieval Italian bishop St. Peter Damian( 1007 -1 072) was born in Ravenna, where his mothers died when he was still young. Peter was first left with an older brother, who was very unkind and neglectful; later another brother cared for him, and was organised by him to be well educated. Peter became a professor, and in 1035 he connected the Benedictine Order.

Peter soon gained a stature for being charitable to the poor; it was his custom to invite one or two poor persons to share his banquets. In the monastery Peter practiced severe punishments, croaking long periods without food or sleep and spend hours in prayer.

Eventually Peter became abbot of the monastery and devoted himself to fostering spiritual reform and renewal. The pope frequently asked him to mediate in disputes involving different convents or disagreements between neighbourhood religious and government officials. Peter was then gave bishop of Ostia( the port metropoli of Rome ), where he was energetic in his efforts at reform; he reinstated punish among his clergy and promoted a simpler, more spiritual life-style for his people.

He wrote many symbols and exhortations, but throughout this period he desired to return to the ascetic lifetime. This request was finally awarded, but he was still called to serve as a papal legate from time to time. After returning from one such assignment, Peter was overcome by a delirium. With his monks collected around him in devotion, St. Peter Damian died on February 22, 1072; in 1828 he was declared a Doctor( an famou and reliable educator) of the Church.


1. Personal experiences of declining should acquire us affectionate to others in need; St. Peter’s difficult infancy made him particularly mindful of the poor and lowly.

2. Holiness requires us to be both firm and soothing. St. Peter had a reputation for being fairly impatient and critical with those who made religion casually, but he could also be very consoling and encouraging to those experiencing difficulty or sorrow.

From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Reflections to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day

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” In serenity, look forward to the joy that are consistent with sadness. Hope contributes you to that joy and desire enkindles your fanaticism .”

–From a letter of St. Peter Damien

Johnnette’s Meditation

The letter to the Hebrews tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”( 11:1 ). How does this help me live out the advice of St. Peter Damien?

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