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shop Theuzo in a most important suit, and assisted him, both by advice and work, in the right administration of his diocese. His spirit of holy contemplation, his corporal austerities, and the saintly tenor of his whole conduct, gained for him so high a reputation, that Pope Stephen the Ninth, in spite of Peter's extreme reluctance, created him Cardinal of the holy Roman Church and Bishop of Ostia. The saint proved himself worthy of these honours by the exercise of the most eminent virtues, and by the faithful discharge of his Episcopal office.
It would be impossible to describe the services he rendered to the Church and the Sovereign Pontiffs, during those most trying times, by his learning, his prudence as Legate, and his untiring zeal. His life was one continued struggle against simony, and the heresy of the Nicolaites. He purged the Church of Milan of these disorders, and brought her into subjection to the Holy See. He courageously resisted the anti-popes Benedict and Cadolaus. He deterred Henry 4th, king of Germany, from an unjust divorce of his wife. He restored the people of Ravenna to their allegiance to the Roman Pontiff, and absolved them from interdict. He reformed the abuses which had crept in among the Canons of Velletri. There was scarcely a single Cathedral Church in
poris macerationibus, cæterisque spectatæ sanctimoniæ exemplis excelluit. His motus Stephanus Nonus, Pontifex Maximus, eum licet invitum et reluctantem sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem creavit, et Ostiensem Episcopum. Quas Petrus dignitates splendidissimis virtutibus, et consentaneis Episcopali ministerio operibus gessit.
Difficillimo tempore Romanæ Ecclesiæ, Summisque Pontificibus doctrina, Legationibus, aliisque susceptis laboribus mirifice adfuit. Adversus Nicolaitarum et Simoniacam hæreses ad mortem usque strenue decertavit. Hujusmodi depulsis malis, Mediolanensem Ecclesiæ Romanæ conciliavit. Benedicto, et Cadaloo, falsis Pontificibus, fortiter restitit. Henricum Quartum Germaniæ regem ab iniquo uxoris divortio deterruit: Ravennates ad debita Romano Pontifici obsequia revocatos sacris restituit. Canonicos Veliternos ad sanctioris vitæ leges composuit. In Provincia præsertim Urbinate vix ulla fuit Episcopalis Ecclesia, de qua Petrus non sit bene meritus: Eugubinam, quam aliquando creditam habuit, multis
levavit incommodis: alias alibi, quando oportuit, perinde curavit, ac si suæ essent tutelæ commissæ. Cardinalatu, et Episcopali dignitate depositis, nihil de pristina juvandi proximos sedulitate remisit. Jejunium Sexta Feriæ in honorem sanctæ Crucis Jesu Christi, Horarias beatæ Dei Genitricis preces, ejusque die Sabbato cultum propagavit. Inferendæ quoque sibi verberationis morem ad patratorum scelerum expiationem provexit. Demum sanctitate, doctrina, miraculis, et preclare actis illustris, dum è Ravennate Legatione rediret, Faventiæ octavo Kalendas Martii migravit ad Christum. Ejus corpus ibidem apud Cistercienses multis miraculis clarum frequenti populorum veneratione colitur. Ipsum Faventini non semel in præsenti discrimine propitium experti, patronum apud Deum delegerunt: Leo vero Duodecimus, Pontifex Maximus, Officium Missamque in ejus honorem tamquam Confessoris Pontifices, quæ aliquibus in Diœcesibus, atque in Ordine Camaldulensium jam celebrabantur, ex Sacrorum Rituum Congregationis consulto, addita Doctoris qualitate, ad universam extendit Ecclesiam.
the Province of Urbino that had not experienced the beneficial effects of Peter's holy zeal thus, that of Gubbio, which was for some time under his care, was relieved by him of many evils; and other Churches, that needed his help, found him as earnest for their welfare as though he were their own Bishop. When he obtained permission to resign his dignity as Cardinal and his Bishopric, he relented nothing of his former charity, but was equally ready in doing good to all. He was instrumental in propagating many devout practices; among these may be mentioned, fasting on Fridays in honour of the Holy Cross; the reciting the Little Office of our Lady; the keeping the Saturday as a day especially devoted to Mary; the taking the discipline in expiation of past sins. At length, after a life which had edified the world by holiness, learning, miracles, and glorious works,-on his return from Ravenna, whither he had been sent as Legate, he slept in Christ, on the eighth of the Calends of March (February 23rd), at Faënza. His relics, which are kept in the Cistercian Church of that town, are devoutly honoured by the Faithful, and many miracles are wrought at the holy shrine. The inhabitants of Faënza have chosen him as the Patron of their City, having several times experienced his protection when threatened by danger. His
Mass and Office, which were kept under the rite of Confessor and Bishop, had been long observed in several Dioceses, and by the Camaldolese Order; but they were extended to the whole Church by a decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, which was approved by Pope Leo the Twelfth, who also added to the name of the Saint that of Doctor.
Thy soul was inflamed by the zeal of God's House, O Peter! God gave thee to his Church in those sad times when the wickedness of the world had robbed her of well nigh all her beauty. Thou hadst the spirit of an Elias within thee, and it gave thee courage to waken the servants of the Lord: they had slept, and while they were asleep, the enemy came, and the field was oversown with tares.1 Then did better days dawn for the Spouse of Christ; the promises made her by our Lord were fulfilled; but who was the Friend of the Bridegroom ?2 who was the chief instrument used by God to bring back to his House its ancient beauty? A Saint who bore the glorious name of Peter Damian !—In those days, the Sanctuary was degraded by secular interference. The Princes of the earth said: Let us possess the Sanctuary of God for an inheritance.3 The Church, which God intended to be Free, was but a slave, in the power of the rulers of this world; and the vices, which are inherent to human weakness, defiled the Temple. But God had pity on the Spouse of Christ, and for her deliverance he would use human agency: he chose thee, Peter, as his principal co-operator in restoring order. Thy example and thy labours pre
1 St. Matth. xiii. 25.
2 St. John, iii. 29.
3 Ps. lxxxii. 13.
pared the way for Gregory, the faithful and dauntless Hildebrand, into whose hands the Keys once placed, and the work of regeneration was completed. Thou hast fought the good fight; thou art now in thy rest; but thy love of the Church, and thy power to help, are greater than ever. Watch, then, over her interests. Obtain for her Pastors that Apostolic energy and courage, which alone can cope with enemies so determined as hers are. Obtain for her Priests the holiness which God demands from them that are the salt of the earth.1 Obtain for the Faithful the respect and obedience they owe to those who direct them in the path of salvation. Thou wast not only the Apostle, thou wast moreover the model, of penance in the midst of a corrupt age; pray for us, that we may be eager to atone for our sins by works of mortification. Excite within our souls the remembrance of the sufferings of our Redeemer, that so his Passion may urge us to repentance and hope. Increase our confidence in Mary, the Refuge of Sinners, and make us, like thyself, full of filial affection towards her, and of zeal that she may be honoured and loved by those who are around us.
í St. Matth. v. 13.
In Leap-Year, the Feast of St. Matthias is kept on the 25th of February.
AN Apostle of Jesus Christ, St. Matthias, is one of the Blessed choir, which the Church would have us honour during the Season of Lent. Matthias was one of the first to follow our Saviour, and he was an eye-witness of all his divine actions up to the very day of the Ascension. He was one
of the seventy-two Disciples; but our Lord had not conferred upon him the dignity of an Apostle. And yet, he was to have this great glory, for it was of him that David spoke, when he prophesied that another should take the Bishopric1 left vacant by the apostacy of Judas the Traitor. In the interval between Jesus' Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostolic College had to complete the mystic number fixed by our Lord himself, so that there might be "The Twelve" on that solemn day, when the
1 Ps. cviii. 8; Acts, i. 16.