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Saint Peter Chrysologus

Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church

Peter (on account of his eloquence surnamed Chrysologus, which is Greek for Him-of-the-golden-words) was born at Imola, near Ravenna, and very early displayed a leaning to godliness. Wherefore Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, soon ordained him deacon. On the death of the Archbishop of Ravenna, Saint Pope Sixtus III (so it is said) was warned in a dream to consecrate this deacon to that post, and thereupon refused to ratify the election made by the people of Ravenna, but consecrated the unwilling Peter instead. The Emperor Valentinian and the Empress-Mother Galla Placidia lived in Ravenna, and the young Archbishop soon won their confidence, as well as that of the successor to Saint Sixtus III, who was Pope Saint Leo the Great.

Now there was much paganism left round about Ravenna, and many abuses had crept in amongst the faithful. Wherefore Peter strove mightily for Christ, building splendid churches, caring for the poor, and above all preaching the Gospel. He once preached a most severe sermon against the revelries of New Year's Day, in which he said: He that jesteth with the devil shall never rejoice with Christ. In his preaching he was wont to recommend frequent Communions, that the Body of Christ might be our daily bread. In 708, an hundred and seventy-six of his discourses were collected, which same are still extant, all of them being brief, for he feared to weary his hearers.

It is said that when he preached his vehemence was such that he sometimes became speechless with excitement. Moreover, his hearers were not seldom moved to tears, cries, and prayers. By command of Pope Saint Leo, he addressed an Epistle to the Council of Chalcedon against the heretic Eutyches, and also confuted him in another letter addressed to Eutyches himself. When he had ruled the Church in Ravenna for about eighteen years, he passed in peace to a better life, on December 2nd, about 450, at Imola; whither he had gone, forewarned by God, to prepare himself for his death; and where his holy body was buried, hard by the remains of his chosen patron Saint Cassian the Schoolmaster. In 1729 his feast was ordered to be kept with the rite of a Doctor of the Church.


O GOD, who by divine foreshewing wast pleased to summon thy great teacher Saint Peter Chrysologus to be a ruler and Doctor of thy Church: grant, we beseech thee; that as we have learned of him the doctrine of life on earth, so we may be found worthy to have him for our advocate in heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, pages 1032-1033

Additional Information:

For additional readings, or to learn more about the Anglican Breviary, visit The Anglican Breviary Website.

Ordo Kalendars are available from the Anglican Parishes Association Book Publisher.