Tuesday, January 10, 2017

St Peter Orseolo (Jan 10)

In the Benedictine calendar today (EF calendar Jan 15), today is the memorial of St Paul the first hermit.

But the martyrology also recalls today another hermit, this time a Benedictine, in the form of St Peter Orseolo, a Doge of Venice who became a simple monk of the Order of St Benedict.

St Peter was a Doge of Venice, and lived between 928 and 987. 

He was married at 18 and had one son, who also eventually became a Doge of Venice.

At 20, he led the Venetian fleet against Dalmatian pirates.

In 976 he became Doge after a revolution against the sitting Doge's attempts to create a monarchy.  In that position he started the rebuilding of St Mark's, as well as building hospitals and supported other social programs. 

Two years later, he quietly left town and joined a Benedictine monastery in the South of France, living a life of great asceticism. 

He subsequently became a hermit with the encouragement of St Romuald, living in the forest surrounding the monastery.

He was acclaimed a saint some forty years after his death, and the canonization was ratified in 1731 by Pope Clement XII.

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