Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Peter Damian (1007–1072)

Saint Peter Damian (1007–1072)

Feast day: February 21

Saint Peter Damian was very young when he was orphaned and sent to live with his brother. However, his brother mistreated him so badly that he went to live with his other brother, Damian, who was a priest in Ravenna, Italy. Peter was so thankful to be with someone who cared for him that he took the name Damian.

His brother made sure that Peter Damian received a good education, and he eventually became a professor. He was very strict with himself and practiced arduous fasting and prayer. Peter decided to leave his position as a professor so he could dedicate himself more fully to prayer.

He joined the Benedictines of the reform of Saint Romuald at Fonte Avella and soon developed insomnia from spending his nights in prayer. Peter became abbot and founded several hermitages. He also encouraged his brothers to live lives of prayerful solitude, acted as a peacemaker for the Holy See, diligently worked to end simony, and wrote many letters.

Saint Peter Damian was canonized in 1823 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828. 

(Image by Srnec at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons)