Peter Chrysologus

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St. Peter Chrysologus

Saint Peter Chrysologus (406 – December 2, 450) was the Bishop of Ravenna, and a very skilled speaker, who was given the title Chysologus, or "Golden Word." He had a passion, an extraordinary zeal to learn and assist others to learn about Christ. Peter had insisted on a strong obedience to the Church in teaching and loyalty. He won universal admiration for his short homilies and defense of the Church against Arian and Monophysite heresy. Known as the Doctor of Homilies, proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.

Early Christian Life

Born at Imola, the province of Bologna in Italy. He was baptised, educated, and ordained deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola.[1] In 433, Pope Sixtus III consecrated him bishop of Ravenna.

Bishop of Ravenna

There were abuses and vestiges of paganism evident in his Imola diocese and St. Peter was determined to crush it. His principal weapon became the short sermon.[2] Peter Chrysologus was a master of homilies. He also spoke with such vehemence that he sometimes became speechless from the excitement he was aiming to share with those who were listening to him. He preached that the devil does not wish to possess a man, but to destroy him. Peter gives priceless advice from one of his homilies, "There are three things, my brethren, which causes faith to stand firm, devotion to remain constant and virtue to endure. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains and mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting are one. They give life to each other." [3] In simple, clear understanding, Peter discussed many topics including his love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles Creed, the Incarnation and about St. John the Baptist.

Peter was counsellor of Pope Leo I. Eutyches appealed to Peter on his behalf after he was denounced at a synod held in Constantinople. He replied to Eutyches that the ruling of the synod was valid and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome.


St. Peter died in Imola in 450. Relics mostly at Imola, except an arm which is in the cathedral at Ravenna.[4] Peter left a collection of over 170 homilies. They are brief and concise, in a great measure explanatory of Biblical texts. St Peter's words are a gift that opens the door to a better perspective of God's word.


  • "A gentle maiden having lodged a God in her womb, asks as its price, peace for the world, salvation for those who are lost, and life for the dead."
  • "Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ."
  • "We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the Most Blessed Pope of the City of Rome; for Blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it."
  • "I appeal to you by the mercy of God. This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God's desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity."
  • "He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful."



  1. St. Peter Chrysologus Catholic Encyclopedia
  2. St. Peter Chrysologus American Catholic
  3. Saint Peter Chrysologus Doctors of the Catholic Church
  4. Saint Peter Chrysologus Star Quest Production Network