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Saint Romauld

Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms — never leave it

Saint Romauld was the founder of the Camaldolese order and often called a major figure of the Renaissance of eremitical asceticism.

Saint Romauld was born in Ravenna to the noble Onesti family around the year 951 AD. As a young man, Saint Romauld fully embraced the pleasures of the world, including the multitude of sinful options that would be available to a man with nobility and money such as him. His father was killed in a duel over property when Saint Romauld was only twenty and the death profoundly shook him at his core.

Saint Romauld was utterly devastated at the loss of his father and travelled to Classe to perform 40 days of penance at the Basillica of Sant'Apollinare. These forty days of penance convinced Saint Romauld that his true calling was to be of a monk and he soon embraced the lifestyle. His only complaint was the the rule of the monks there did not seem strong or astectic enough. He applied for and was granted permission to leave and study under a hermit by the name of Marinus in Venice.

Saint Romauld followed the Doge of Venice, Pietro Orseolo I to Cuxa where Saint Romauld and Marinus erected their own hermitage at the monastery there. For the next 10 years Saint Romauld studied in it's library, forming and refining his own monastic ideals. After these years of study, Saint Romauld began travelling across Italy, founding and reforming monasteries. His reputation spread as far as the advisors of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III who asked him to come and take over the office of abbot of Sant'Apollinare. When he did though, the monks resisted his reforms at every turn causing Saint Romauld to throw his abbot's staff at Emperor Otto's feet in resignation.

For the next several years Saint Romauld continued opening monasteries until he built the monastery at Val di Castro where he would die on June 19th, 1027.

When the feast was added in his honor in 1594, it was inserted on the day of his death but moved only a year later by Pope Clement VIII to February 7th (the date in which his relics were transferred to Fabriano in 1481). The 1969 revision of the calendar moved his date back to June 19th.

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