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Saint Of The Day On 21 February: Pier Damiani

For this Saint, the saying “from the stables to the stars” was true to the letter: Pier Damiani’s task was to look after pigs, but someone noticed him

The talents were there, an intellect so promising that an archpriest immediately grasped his potential and did not miss the opportunity to do good by sowing a seed on Pier Damiani.

And it must be said that the young man, taking advantage of the opportunity, did not deny the challenge.

This is what matured into such a temperament that today he is remembered not only as a bishop but also, and it should be emphasised, as a doctor of the Church.

The monastic vocation of Pier Damiani

He could have played nice cards but he was not ambitious and retired to monastic life, opting for the abbey of Fonte Avellana in Umbria, and it was a very young abbey.

Only a few years earlier, Rodolfo had founded it: classic love at first sight we would say!

He quickly devoted himself to studies and contemplation of the mysteries and became abbot of the monastery in no time.

Then something happened to Pier Damiani that burst like a bolt from the blue.

When God wants us elsewhere, he does not hesitate to call us through his intermediaries.

One cannot refuse the Pope. Some saints did but Pier Damiani felt called to something different

The period the Church was going through from 1057 onwards was stormy.

The clergy was losing credibility.

Today there are the well-loved gossip scandals, the Christian, however, knowing where the true light of faith lies.

In those days, one of the mammoth ‘gossip scandals’ was the phenomenon of ‘simony’, i.e. the clean hands of yesteryear in which, in exchange for high-ranking promotions and careerism, monetary compensation was paid.

Pier Damiani thus became the support stick for as many as six popes to restore some dignity to the ordained Church.

One of Pier Damiani’s fervent collaborators: Pope Gregory VII

Incardinated, Pier Damiani continued his “strong” work, also helping to reform a Church that seemed to be dying in corruption and decadence.

For this he travelled extensively in Italy and the world but was also helped by another monk as he was.

This was the Benedictine abbot of San Paolo Fuori Le Mura Ildebrando, who later became Pope Gregory VII.

Between one assignment and another, Pier Damiani did not abandon his theological studies but rather made them bear fruit to the point that today he is counted among the Doctors of the Church.

He died in 1072 in Faenza, according to established historical sources.

We conclude with a very moving prayer of St Pier Damiani

Give me true faith, firm hope and unfeigned charity.

Give me deep humility, a sober life, true knowledge.

Give me fortitude, prudence, justice, temperance and make me always walk on the straight path to achieve, with your help, the end for which you created us

Sister Ines Carlone Daughters of Mary Missionaries

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