St. Peter Damian
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Feast Day: February 23
Peter, born at Ravenna, lost both his parents. Under the care of his brother Damian he was educated in the liberal arts and sciences. From proficiency as a student he advanced to renown as a teacher.
In order to lead a more perfect life, he joined the monastery of Avellana, of the Order of the monks of the Holy Cross of Fonte Avellana, founded by blessed Ludolph, a disciple of St. Romuald.
Later on, Peter governed that monastery and developed it in such a way that he was rightly considered another founder of his Order and its shining ornament.
Stephen IX made him a Cardinal of the Roman Church and Bishop of Ostia, although Peter was unwilling and opposed to the appointment.
At a very difficult period, he was a wonderful help to the Popes by his teaching and by the many missions and other labors he undertook.
He deterred Henry IV, king of Germany, from the evil deed of divorcing his wife. He finally died in the Lord, famous for his holy works, at Faenza, as he was returning from a mission at Ravenna.
Epistle and Gospel for February 23