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ST. PETER DAMIAN was born in 988, and lost both parents at an early age. His eldest brother, in whose hands he was left, treated him so cruelly that a younger brother, a priest, moved by his piteous state, sent him to the University of Parma, where he acquired great distinction. His studies were sanctified by vigils, fasts, and prayers, till at last, thinking that all this was only serving God by halves, he resolved to leave the world. He joined the monks at Font-Avellano, then in the greatest repute, and by his wisdom and sanctity rose to be Superior. He was employed on the most delicate and difficult missions, amongst others the reform of ecclesiastical communities, which was effected by his zeal. Seven Popes in succession made him their constant adviser, and he was at last created Cardinal Bishop of Ostia. He withstood Henry IV. of Germany, and labored in defence of Alexander II. against the Antipope, whom he forced to yield and seek for pardon. He was charged, as Papal Legate, with the repression of simony; again, was commissioned to settle discords amongst various bishops, and finally, in 1072, to adjust the affairs of the Church at Ravenna. He was laid low by a fever on his homeward journey, and died at Faenza, in a monastery of his order, on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks chanted matins around him.
Reflection. —The Saints studied, not in order to be accounted learned, but to become perfect. This only is wisdom and true greatness, to account ourselves as ignorant, and to adhere in all things to the teachings and instincts of the Church. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
In the midst of the church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 91, 2. It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. Glory be …
O God, who didst give blessed Peter Damian, to be a minister of everlasting salvation unto Thy people, grant, we beseech Thee, that, as we have had him for our teacher on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy.
[His charge to Timothy. He tells him of his approaching death and desires him to come to him.]
Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 111, 1. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: in His commandments he hath great delight. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. (P.T. alleluia.)
May the loving prayers of Peter Damian, Thy bishop, not be wanting to us, O Lord, to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord.
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia.)
That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed Peter Damian, Thy bishop and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through our Lord.