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Pray the Martyrs Prayer

The Georgia March for Life is tomorrow! marchforlife.org/georgia
Today is the feast of St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Peter was the youngest of seven children, born in 1007 in Ravenna, Italy. After his parents died, one of Peter's brothers raised him. His brother neglected him, so Peter went to live with another of his brothers, a priest named Damian. Fr. Damian made sure his younger brother had a good education. Peter was so grateful that he added his brother's name to his own. Peter followed very strict mortifications: wearing a hair shirt under his clothes, fasting often, and spending hours in prayer with the psalms. He welcomed the poor into his home to offer them meals. In 1035, Peter joined the Camaldolese Monastery of Fonte Avellana, an order founded just a decade before according to the Rule of St. Benedict. The Camaldolese monks lived a rigorous way of life, much like Peter did, though Peter took it too far at first. He spent so much time praying instead of sleeping that he developed insomnia. In 1043, Peter became prior of Fonte Avellana. He quickly became known as a skilled preacher, and often went to other monasteries to preach. During his time as prior, he founded five Camaldolese hermitages. He also wrote extensively, calling out corruption and controversies. The two biggest issues at that time were simony, the sale of religious offices, and Nicolaism, an early Christian sect that included clerical marriage and was considered heretical. Peter reluctantly became Bishop of Ostia in 1057, and became a cardinal, at the request of Pope Stephen IX. For the next several years, he worked under multiple popes to promote reform and resolve conflicts, including an uprising against papal authority in Milan. He helped resolve issues with anti-popes after the deaths of Stephen IX and his successor Nicholas II. Finally, in 1067, Peter was allowed to resign his episcopate and go back to Fonte Avellana. Just two years later, King Henry IV of Germany decided he wanted to divorce his wife, and Pope Alexander II sent Peter to prevent it. Peter returned to his hometown of Ravenna in 1072 to resolve a conflict. He fell ill on the way back, and died at a monastery in Faenza. St. Peter Damian, pray for us!
The Arm of St. Jude the Apostle will be at the Savannah Cathedral today! Veneration is 2 pm until 10 pm, with Mass in honor of St. Jude celebrated by Bishop Parkes at 7 pm. Visit apostleoftheimpossible.com for details and contact the Cathedral with any questions.
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