Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072)
for February 21
Saint Peter Damian was very young when he was orphaned and sent to live with his brother. However, his brother mistreated him so badly that he went to live with his other brother, Damian, who was a priest in Ravenna, Italy. Peter was so thankful to be with someone who cared for him that he took the name Damian. His brother made sure that Peter Damian received a good education, and he eventually became a professor. He was very strict with himself and practiced arduous fasting and prayer. Peter decided to leave his position as a professor so he could dedicate himself more fully to prayer. He joined the Benedictines of the reform of Saint Romuald at Fonte Avella and soon developed insomnia from spending his nights in prayer. Peter became abbot and founded several hermitages. He also encouraged his brothers to live lives of prayerful solitude, acted as a peacemaker for the Holy See, diligently worked to end simony, and wrote many letters. Saint Peter Damian was canonized in 1823 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828.
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Sometimes we take the people who are more kind and caring towards us for granted. Saint Peter Damian, however, was not one of these people. He was so thankful for the kind and loving treatment that he received from his brother, Damian, that he took his name. Do you show your appreciation for those who love and care for you? Ask the Lord to help you never take good people, or good works, for granted.
Jesus, You weren’t forced to come and live as one of us. You chose to suffer and die for us as you did. I want to live with an attitude of gratefulness for this and for all the gifts God has given me. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)