Roman Catholic Cardinal and Saint. Ravenna born Peter Damiani came from a once noble family that eventually impoverished. Studying liberal arts and law in his native city and later in Faenza and Parma, he entered the Order of Saint Benedict through the Camaldolese Congregation in 1035 at their monastery of Fonte Avellana, Gubbio. Elected prior and abbot of the latter, Pope Stephen IX created him against his will cardinal bishop of Ostia in the consistory March 14, 1058, receiving his episcopal consecration in Rome from the Pontiff himself shortly before the latter's death. Named legate in Milan by his successor, Pope Nicolas II the following year, he was appointed bishop of Velletri in addition to his see of Ostia following Cardinal Benedetto's deprivation after the synod of 1060. Named legate in Florence in 1063, he resigned the suburbicarian see of Ostia in order to return to his monastery around the year 1066, however was soon appointed legate in Germany in 1069 and successively, legate in France, visiting Cluny, Limoges and Châlons-sur-Marne. Named legate in Ravenna in 1072 to reconcile the citizens then divided following the excommunication of Archbishop Arrigo, due to his tireless activity, his zeal to abolish simony and defense of ecclesiastical discipline, he remains considered as "a glory" of the Sacred College of Cardinals. With his works published in three volumes, Cardinal Damiani died at the monastery of Santa Maria, presently known as Santa Maria Vecchia of Faenza shortly after returning from his Ravenna legation. Originally buried inside the church adjacent to the monastery, his remains are presently enshrined at the Duomo of Faenza. Venerated as a saint immediately following his death, his liturgical memory is celebrated on February 21. Pope Leo XII declared him a Doctor of the Church on October 1, 1828.
Bio by: Eman Bonnici