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Saint Peter Chrysologus
Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Born c. 380 AD, Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, North-Central Italy
Died July 31, 450, Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna region, North-Central Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Feast July 30
December 4 (on some local calendars and among Traditional Roman Catholics)

Saint Peter Chrysologus (Greek: Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the "golden-worded") (c.380–c. 450)[1] was Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 AD until his death.[2] 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. The monophysite 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 accept 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.[3][4][5]

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" indicated that he died on July 31.[6] 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. With the reform of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969 his feast was moved to July 30.[7].

A contemporary portrait of St Peter Chrysologus 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.

See also

  • Diocese of Imola


  1. The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. III, pp. 1562.
  2. Michael Walsh, ed. "Butler's Lives of the Saints," New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
  3. Sermon 58, On the Creed, par. 13
  4. Sermon 30, on Matthew 9:9ff, par. 5
  5. Sermon 168 par. 3
  6. "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 98
  7. What is reckoned to be the day of his death, July 31, is the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

External links

ca:Pere Crisòleg cs:Petr Chrysolog sw:Petro Krisologo la:Petrus Chrysologus hu:Aranyszavú Szent Péter pt:Pedro Crisólogo ro:Petru Crisologul sc:Pier Crisologo sq:Shën Pjetri Fjalëarti fi:Petrus Chrysologus sv:Petrus Chrysologus