St Romuald

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Benedictine abbot. Born in Ravenna in 950, Romuald is said to have fled the world in horror after his father killed a man in a duel. He joined the Cluniac monks, but after years of study became attracted to a life of solitary prayer. He eventually left the monastery and walked from place to place, founding many hermitages and communities. The most important of these was Fonte Avellana and Camaldoli, on a wooded mountainside in Tuscany.

Romuald was a powerful influence in the medieval church. His order of hermit monks, was very austere and always had very few members, but survives to this day as an independent order of Benedictines. Romuald made repeated attempts to undertake missionary work among the Magyars and Slavs. He died on this day in 1027 at Val de Castro near Camaldoli.