DAMIANI, or DAMIANUS, Petrus, Saint, one of the fathers of the Church: b. Ravenna 1007; d. Faenza, 23 Feb. 1072. In infancy be was abandoned by his mother and then treated inhumanly by one of his brothers who gave him shelter, but another brother, Damianus, undertook his guardianship and gave him a good education. In gratitude, Petrus as sumed the name Petrus Damiani, Damianus' Peter. For some years he conducted schools in Ravenna, but at the age of 30 joined a com munity of hermits and 1041 was elected to be their abbot. The renown of his piety, sanctity and wisdom having spread widely, brought to his cell people high and low to entreat his prayers or his counsel, and popes and emperors did not disdain to solicit his advice. Made cardinal and bishop of Ostia, 1057, he prevailed on Benedict X, irregularly elected by the dom inant faction of the Roman nobility, to resign 1058, and 1062 he induced the anti-Pope Hon orius II to forego his claims to the Roman see. He was an intensely zealous advocate of
the reform of the Church and correction of the flagrant abuses which were widespread among the clergy in his time. In his manifesto, well styled by him Gomorrhinus' (Book of Gomorrha), he exposes, without regard to the dignities held by the offenders, the vices and the unspeakable enormities b' which they brought discredit on the Christian profession. Had not the interests of religion demanded it, such outspokenness would have been inexcus able and an offense against public morality. Another of his works bears the title, We Cor rectione Episcopi et Papas' (of correcting a bishop and a Pope). All his life he practised the utmost austerities of the hermit. By decree of Pope Leo XII his name was added to the roll of Doctors of the Church, and 23 February was appointed as his feast-day. For his works consult Migne, Latina' (cxliv. cxlv) ; and for biography L. Guerrier.