The unwanted baby was left to starve
Someone who worked with the family, however, saw what was happening and fed the newborn, pulling him back from the brink of death.
The family was then shamed into taking care of the infant (now named Peter) themselves. A few years later, both parents were dead and one of Peter’s elder brothers was forced to take responsibility for him. He abused him, malnourished him, and overworked him. Still, Peter grew to be a bright lad, with a devout spirit.
One of Peter’s other brothers, Damian, came to the boy’s rescue and put him through school. He succeeded brilliantly at academics and by the time he was 25 he was already a famous university professor.
But Peter felt the call of the monastic vocation and a few years later withdrew from the world.
Once again, Peter succeeded brilliantly, rising not only to run his own monastery but become an advocate of reform in monasticism and in the Church at large. So great was his reputation that he was forced to become a bishop and cardinal. He proved instrumental in helping resolve many crises in the church. He would later be called a Doctor of the Church.
St. Peter Damian (he had added his brother’s name) died on this very day in 1072.
(adapted from an earlier post)