Saint Peter Damian
Doctor of the Church
Born at Ravenna, Italy, of poor parents, Peter did farm work and tended swine in his youth. When his great intelligence was recognized, he was sent away to study at Faenza and Parma. In 1035 he entered the Benedictine hermitage at Fonte Avellla, where he began to live a life of prayer and austerity. About the year 1043 he was chosen prior and spent the next several years establishing new monasteries and reforming old ones, becoming famous as an uncompromising preacher of holiness to clergy and laity alike. In 1057 he was made Cardinal Bishop of Ostia much against his will, adopting the name “Damian” in gratitude to his brother of that name who had financed his education. St. Peter was sent several times on diplomatic missions to France and Germany. He died on a journey back to his native town, Ravenna, which he had reconciled to the pope. During his life, Peter enjoyed great authority owing to his learning, zeal, and unquestionable integrity. He never tired of denouncing immorality and dishonesty when he found such among the clergy. His writings treat of spiritual but also of doctrinal issues such as purgatory, the Eucharist, and the validity of sacraments administered by unworthy priests. In 1828 Pope Leo XII extended his feast to the universal Church and named him Doctor of the Church.
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The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They Matter
If you are not familiar with the Fathers of the Early Church, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, in this single, upbeat talk, full of examples and stories about some of the Church's most intriguing personalities. Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers. Though the ranks of the fathers include a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and personalities, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most important questions of our day. In this talk, Marcellino makes clear just how much these figures have to teach us today.
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