Necessity of Prayer and Example of St. Peter Damian

Source: FSSPX News

During the general audience on September 9, 2009, in the Vatican, Benedict XVI quoted the example of St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), an Italian monk, theologian and cardinal, gathered in the Paul VI Hall before some 8,000 people. The Holy Father emphasized the importance “for us today too, even though we are not monks: to know how to make silence within us to listen to God's voice, to seek, as it were, a "parlour" in which God speaks with us: learning the word of God in prayer and in meditation is the path to life.”

St. Peter Damian was born in Ravenna (Italy), in 1007. He became an orphan when still young and was adopted by his eldest brother who gave him a good education in the field of law and in the art of writing. He first became a teacher. Then he wrote several books before being called to the monastic ideal. He entered the Monastery of Fonte Avellana. Benedict XVI also presented St. Peter Damian as “one of the most accomplished Latinists of his time” and also as one “who contributed to the reform of the Church. Indeed, the pope explained: “He spent himself, with lucid consistency and great severity, for the reform of the Church of his time.” Thus, the pope recalled that: “he did not fear to denounce the state of corruption that existed in the monasteries and among the clergy, above all because of the practice of the conferral by the lay authorities of ecclesiastical offices.”

To fight against this abuse, St. Peter Damian left his monastery in 1057 and was named as a cardinal. “So it was that he entered fully into collaboration with the Popes in the difficult task of the Church reform.” To fulfill the duties of his charge,he undertook numerous journeys and missions, before returning, ten years later to the monastic life while still continuing to serve the papacy. He died in Faenza, in 1072, on his return journey from a mission of reconciliation between the archbishop of Ravenna and Rome. (DICI n° 202 - 17/10/09 – Sources: Apic/Imedia/VIS)