Peter Chrysologus

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Peter Chrysologus
birth_date=c. 380
death_date=July 31, 450
feast_day=July 30
December 4 (General Roman Calendar, 1729-1969)
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church

birth_place=Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, North-Central Italy
death_place=Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna region, North-Central Italy
titles=Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church

Saint Peter Chrysologus ( _el. for "golden-worded") (c.380–c. 450) [The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. III, pp. 1562.] was Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 AD [Michael Walsh, ed. "Butler's Lives of the Saints," New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.] until his death. He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.


Peter was born in Imola, where he was ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. He was made an archdeacon through the influence of Emperor Valentinian III. Pope Sixtus III appointed Peter to the See of Ravenna in about the year 433, apparently rejecting the candidate elected by the people of the city. He was a counsellor of Pope Leo I. Eutyches appealed to Peter to intervene with the pope on his behalf after he was denounced at a synod held in Constantinople in 448. The text of Peter's letter in response to Eutyches has been preserved in the "Acts of the Council of Chalcedon;" in it, Peter admonishes Eutyches to accecpt the ruling of the synod and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Saint Peter.

Known as "The Doctor of Homilies," Peter was known for his short but inspired talks; he is said to have been afraid of boring his audience. After hearing his first homily as bishop, Empress Galla Placidia is said to have given him the surname "Chrysologus," by which he is known. Galla Placidia was to become the patroness of many of Peter's projects. Peter spoke against the Arian and Monophysite teachings, condemning them as heresies, and explained topics such as the Apostles' Creed, John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the mystery of the Incarnation, in simple and clear language. Peter advocated daily reception of Holy Communion. He urged his listeners to have confidence to the forgiveness offered through Christ. [Sermon 58, On the Creed, par. 13] [Sermon 30, on Matthew 9:9ff, par. 5] [Sermon 168 par. 3]

In the eighth century Felix of Ravenna preserved 176 of his homilies.

Death and veneration

St Peter died in the year 450 or later, when on a visit to his birthplace. Older reference books say he died on December 2, but a more recent interpretation of the ninth-century "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis" indicates that he died on July 31. ["Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 98] When in 1729 he was declared a Doctor of the Church, his feast day, which was not included in the Tridentine Calendar, was inserted in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for celebration on December 4. In 1969 it was moved to July 30; (what is reckoned to be the day of his death, July 31, is the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola).

A contemporary portrait of Peter is found in the mosaics of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, where he is depicted among the members of the eastern and western imperial family, showing his extraordinary influence.

ee also

*Diocese of Imola


External links

* [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Peter Chrysologus"]
* [ July 30 Saint]
* [ St. Peter Chrysologus]

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