The saint for February 21
Saint Peter Damian
 
Optional Memorial
Roman Calendar

born 1007
Died 1072

Never formally canonized, acclaimed as a saint
almost immediately after his death. Cultus extended
to entire Church in 1823

Orphaned as a child and mistreated by his brother, who used him rather as a child slave. Peter came to the attention of a religious brother, another Damian, who took him under his wing and had him educated. Peter Damian had an exceptional mind, and was called upon by the pope to serve as legate from time to time

He was a professor for a time, but gave this up to practice austerities and live as a Benedictine monk, but this did not prevent him from writing prolific sermons, at least one biography, and some of the best survivng latin poetry of the time.

Prayer by St. Peter Damien

O holy Virgin,
Mother of God,
help those who implore your assistance.
Turn toward us.
Have you perhaps forgotten us
because you have been elevated
to a position close to God?
No, certainly not.

You know well in what danger you left us.
You know the miserable condition of your servants.
No, it would not benefit such great mercy
as yours to forget such great misery as ours.

Turn toward us, then,
with your power,
for He who is powerful
has made you omnipotent in heaven and on earth.
For you, nothing is impossible.
You can raise even those who are in despair
to a hope of salvation.
There more powerful you are,
the greater should be your mercy.

Turn also to us in your love.
I know,O Mary, that you are all kindness
and that you love us with a love
that no other love can surpass.
How often you appease the wrath of our Divine Judge,
when He is on the point of punishing us!

All the treasures of the mercy of God
are in your hands.
You will never cease to benefit us, I know,
for you are only seeking an opportunity
to save all sinners
and to shower your mercies upon them.
Your glory is increased when,through you,
penitents are forgiven and reach heaven.

Turn , then, toward us,
so that we may also be able to go
and see you in heaven.
For the greatest glory that we can have,
after seeing God,
will be to see you,
to love you,
and to be under your protection.
So be pleased to grant our prayer;
for your beloved Son wishes to honour you
by refusing nothing that you ask.
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