Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 December – Blessed Peter the Venerable (c 1092–1156)

Saint of the Day – 25 December – Blessed Peter the Venerable (c 1092–1156) Eighth Abbot of Cluny, Reformer, Scholar and Writer, Poet. Born in c 1092 in Auvergne, France and died on 25 December 1156 of natural causes. Also known as – Peter of Cluny, Peter of Montboissier. Additional Memorials – 29 April as one of the Abbots of Cluny, 11 May (Benedictine calendar), 29 or 30 December on some calendars.

A descendant of the noble family of Montboissier, Peter was born to Blessed Raingarde in Auvergne, He was “Dedicated to God” at birth and was educated at the Mmonastery at Sauxillanges of the Congregation of Cluny. Peter, aged seventeen, made his profession to his Abbot, St Hugh, shortly before the latter’s death in 1109.. By the age of twenty he gained a professorship and was appointed Prior of the Monastery of Vézelay, before he moved to the Monastery at Domène.

Success at Vézelay and Domène led to his election as General of the Order, aged thirty. After his predecessor, the Abbot Pontius, had been deposed by the Pope, Peter became a tireless reformer of the Cluniac Order, in the face of criticism from other Orders and prominent Monks and theologians, including his great friend, St Bernard of Clairvaux. His defence of his Order against critics and his introduction of radical reforms, earned him the appellation of “venerable”.

Peter making his profession to St Hugh

His interest in the pursuit of studies at Cluny brought about a controversy with his intimate friend, St Bernard, who wished to see the monastic life confined to prayer and manual work. In 1130 Peter supported Pope Innocent II against the antipope Anacletus II, himself a Cluniac Monk and in 1140, he gave shelter to Abelard first at Cluny and later at the priory of St-Marcel-de-Chalon.

Between his numerous journeys, which took him to Spain in 1142, to Germany in 1147, twice to England and ten times to Italy, he frequently retired to a hermitage to devote himself to study and meditation. He was the first to have the Koran translated into Latin (completed 1143) and himself, wrote against the Muslims. His works, among which are treatises against Peter de Bruys and against the Jews (1144–7), a number of sermons and some poems, show comparatively little acquaintance with the Fathers but profound knowledge of the Scriptures and a preference for the literal sense, which causes him to avoid allegorical speculations. His friendship and correspondence with Bishop Henry of Blois of Winchester and Glastonbury, between 1138 and 1142, together with his debating skills, brought wider recognition of his scholarship. And, his moderation and gentleness earned him the veneration of his contemporaries but, in the eyes of posterity, he was overshadowed by the great figure of his illustrious friend, St Bernard.

Peter died a holy death on Christmas Day in 1156. He was in buried in the southern end of the cloister of the Monastery Church of Cluny Abbey. Sadly, his grave was desecrated by the Huguenots in 1562 and most of his relics were destroyed in 1792 in the anti–Catholic excesses of the French Revolution.

Although he has always been honoured as a Saint, he was never canonised and the Martyrologies grants him the title of Blessed. His cult was finally confirmed in 1862 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. and in France and around Europe, he is called “Saint.”

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and bless you 🙏

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