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Saint Peter Chrysologus

Saint Peter Chrysologus
  • Century: 4th & 5th Century
  • Patronage: Doctor of the Church
  • Feast Day: July 30th

St. Peter Chrysologus was the Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 until his death.  Pope Benedict XIII also declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1729.  He was born in Imola where Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, ordained him a deacon.  Pope Sixtus III appointed St. Peter Chrysologus to the See of Ravenna in about the year 433.    

Recorded in the Roman Breviary, Pope Sixtus III had a vision of St. Peter and St. Apollinaris, the first bishops of Rome and Ravenna, who showed him a young man and said he was the next Bishop of Ravenna.  When the group from Ravenna arrived, including Cornelius and his archdeacon Peter Chrysologus.  Pope Sixtus III recognized Peter as the young man in his vision, and consecrated him as Bishop of Ravenna, in 433 until his death.  

St. Peter Chrysologus was known as the Doctor of Homilies.  He was known for his short but inspired talks.  He is said to have been afraid of boring his audience, so he kept them short and inspirational.  Peter explained topics such as the Apostles Creed, John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the mystery of the Incarnation in a very simple, clear language.  St. Peter Chrysologus also advocated daily reception of Holy Communion, and urged his listeners to have confidence in the forgiveness offered through Christ.  He was so popular in his Holiness, that he was a counselor of Pope Leo I.  To this day, 176 of his homilies are preserved in the Church archives.  He was credited for catechizing many under his care.    

St. Peter died in 450, when he was on a visit to his birthplace of Imola.  He died on July 31st, but that date was occupied in the Church as the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, so they moved it to the closest possible date of his death, July 30th.   

Practical Take Away 

St. Peter Chrysologus earned the title, “Doctor of the Church” because of his holiness. He shows us by his life of service to the Church that we should strive for daily reception of the Holy Eucharist, and that we should learn to trust in the forgiveness that Christ offers us through the Church. He also exuded humility, as he feared boring his listeners with his homilies, so he kept them very short and inspirational, so much so, he carries the title “Doctor of Homilies”.  We can learn much from the example and teaching he taught; stay close to Jesus, receive him daily in Holy Communion, and trust in His forgiveness.  We would be wise to follow him, as it merited for him, heaven, something that you and I can be assured of, if we only follow his example.