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Saint Peter Chrysologus
Pedro crisologo01.jpg
Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Born c. 380
Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, North-Central Italy
Died July 31, 450
Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna region, North-Central Italy
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Feast July 30
December 4 (General Roman Calendar 1729-1969)[1]

Peter Chrysologus (Greek: Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the "golden-worded") (c. 380 – c. 450)[2] was Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 until his death.[3]

During his life he was well known for his fine homilies.

He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church; he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.


Peter was born in Imola, where Cornelius, bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Imola, baptized him, educated him, and ordained him a deacon. He was made an archdeacon through the influence of Emperor Valentinian III. Pope Sixtus III appointed Peter as Bishop of Ravenna (or perhaps archbishop) circa 433, apparently rejecting the candidate whom the people of the city of Ravenna elected. The traditional account, as recorded in the Roman Breviary, is that Sixtus had a vision of Pope Saint Peter the Apostle and Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna, the first bishop of that see, who showed Sixtus a young man, the next Bishop of Ravenna. When a group from Ravenna arrived, including Cornelius and his archdeacon Peter from Imola, Sixtus recognized Peter as the young man in his vision and consecrated him as a bishop.[4]

People knew Saint Peter Chrysologus, the Doctor of Homilies, for his short but inspired talks; he supposedly feared boring his audience. His piety and zeal won universal admiration. After hearing oratory of his first homily as bishop, Roman Empress Galla Placidia supposedly gave him the surname Chrysologus, meaning "golden-worded." Empress Galla Placidia patronized many projects of Bishop Saint Peter.

In his extant homilies, bishop Peter explained Biblical texts briefly and concisely. He also condemned Arianism and Monophysitism as heresies and explained beautifully the Apostles' Creed, the mystery of the Incarnation, and other topics in simple and clear language. He dedicated a series of homilies to Saint John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Peter advocated daily reception of Eucharist. He urged his listeners to confide in the forgiveness offered through Christ.[5][6][7] He shared the confidence of Saint Pope Leo I the Great (440-461), another doctor of the Church.

A synod held in Constantinople in 448 condemned Eutyches for Monophysitism; Eutyches then appealed to Saint Peter Chrysologus but failed in his endeavour to win the support of the Bishop. The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon (451) preserves the text of letter of Saint Peter Chrysologus in response to Eutyches; Peter admonishes Eutyches to accept the ruling of the synod and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Saint Peter.

Archbishop Felix of Ravenna in the early eighth century collected and preserved 176 of his homilies. Various authors edited and translated these works into numerous languages.

Death and veneration[edit]

St Peter died circa or after 450 during a visit to Imola, the town of his birth. Older reference books say he died on 2 December, but a more recent interpretation of the ninth-century "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis" indicated that he died on 31 July.[1]

When in 1729 he was declared a Doctor of the Church, his feast day, not already included in the Tridentine Calendar, was inserted in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 4 December. In 1969 his feast was moved to 30 July, as close as possible to the day of his death, 31 July, the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

A contemporary portrait of Saint Peter Chrysologus, found in the mosaics of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, depicts him among the members of the eastern and western imperial family, showing his extraordinary influence.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 98
  2. ^ The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. III, pp. 1562.
  3. ^ Michael Walsh, ed. "Butler's Lives of the Saints," New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
  4. ^ "December 4". Roman Breviary. Confraternity of Ss. Peter and Paul. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  5. ^ Sermon 58, On the Creed, par. 13
  6. ^ Sermon 30, on Matthew 9:9ff, par. 5
  7. ^ Sermon 168 par. 3


  • Otto Bardenhewer, Patrology, tr. Shanan, pp. 526 ff.
  • Dapper, Der hl. Petrus von Ravenna Chrysologus, Posen, 1871
  • Looshorn, Der hl. Petrus Chrysologus und seine Schriflen in Zeitschrift f. kathol. Theol., III, 1879, pp. 238 ff.
  • Wayman, Zu Petrus Chrysologus in Philologus, LV (1896), pp. 464 ff.
  • San Pietro Crisologo, Sermoni, two volumes, Città Nuova, Roma 1997 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Chrysologus — Please support Wikipedia.
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