Saint Peter Chrysologus

St. Peter Chrysologus (406-450 A.D.) was born in Imola, Italy. He was an adult convert to Christianity and studied under his bishop, Cornelius, who ordained him a deacon. In his day the city of Ravenna was the center of the Roman Empire, making the Archbishop of Ravenna an important position in the Church. When the Archbishop of Ravenna died, a new archbishop was elected by the clergy and the people of Ravenna. Bishop Cornelius of Imola went to Rome with his deacon, St. Peter Chyrsologus, to have the Ravenna appointment confirmed by Pope Sixtus III. When the pope saw St. Peter, he appointed him the new Archbishop of Ravenna instead. St. Peter was an effective shepherd who stamped out paganism, heresy, and ecclesiastical abuses from his diocese, earning the high regard of Emperor Valentinan III who resided in Ravenna. He also organized services to help the poor of the city. St. Peter was renowed for his profound and eloquent sermons, and his skill with taking complex theological truths and putting them in plain language, earning him the name 'Chrysologus' meaning 'the man of golden speech' or 'golden word' as well as the 'Doctor of Homilies.' In 1729, Pope Benedict XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church. His feast day is July 30.

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