Feast day: January 10
Saint Peter Orseolo was born into a wealthy family. He married, and he and his wife had a son. Peter served as admiral and commander of the Venetian navy before being appointed doge of Venice. This position was one of power and prestige, and Peter used his power to do good works. These good works included building hospitals and orphanages, renovating the Cathedral of Saint Mark, and establishing public programs to aid widows, pilgrims, and the abandoned.
Under the cover of darkness on September 1, 978, Peter left his wife and son to join a Benedictine abbey. He didn’t tell his family about his plan, and they wondered for a long time where he had gone. When his wife eventually learned where her husband was, she approved of his decision. Saint Peter Orseolo built a hermitage and spent the rest of his life enveloped in solitude and prayer.
(Image © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro, via Wikimedia Commons)