Saint of the Day ~ June 19

SAINT ROMUALD OF RAVENNA (c.951-1027), missionary priest, abbot and founder

Today, the Church honors Saint Romuald, a missionary Benedictine monk who was renowned for his holiness in life and his zeal for building up the Body of Christ.

Romuald was born about the year 951 in Ravenna, Italy to Italian nobility. He spent his youth on many thoughtless and wild indiscretions, but had a conversion experience after he witnessed his father kill a man in a duel. In order to atone for the crime, Romuald fled to a monastery near Ravenna and entered the Benedictine Order, reconciled with God for his many transgressions, and eventually became a monk.

Friar Romuald lived a holy life and, in 996, was named abbot, a position which he held until the year 999. A wanderer by nature, he spent the next 30 years establishing several hermitages and monasteries in central and northern Italy. During this period of time, he tried to evangelize the Slavic people, but met with little success.

Like many who lived a holy life evangelizing unbelievers, Romuald fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and men. In the beginning of his spiritual life he experienced numerous temptations, which he conquered by vigilance and prayer. More than one attempt was made on his life. Divine Providence, however, enabled him to escape from the many dangers.

He founded the Camaldolese Benedictines, an Order which united the monastic and hermitic life, and also established a monastery in Fontebuono, Italy as the Order’s mother-house.

Friar Romuald spent the last fourteen years of his life in seclusion as a hermit, dying on June 19, 1027 in Val-di-Castro, Italy alone in his cell [room where he would pray and sleep]. Many miracles were granted at his tomb to those invoking his intercession before the Divine Throne of God. In 1032, permission was given for an altar to be erected over his tomb.

In 1466, his tomb was opened and his body was found to be incorrupt, almost 440 years after his death, and his remains were transferred to the church of Saints Biagio and Romoaldo in Fabriano, Italy in 1481. Romuald was canonized a saint in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

We commemorate his feastday on June 19.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Romuald)

“Father, through Saint Romuald You renewed the life of solitude and prayer in Your Church. By our self-denial as we follow Christ, bring us the joy of Heaven.

“We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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