Skip to main content

Peter Orseolo, St.

PETER ORSEOLO, ST.

Doge of Venice, Benedictine recluse; b. Venice, 928;d. Cuxa Abbey, Prades, France, Jan. 10, 987. Married at age 18, Orseolo (Urseolus) and his wife lived in continence after the birth of a son. In 948 he commanded the fleet in a war against pirates. After a revolution (976) during which Doge Peter IV Candiano was murdered, Orseolo was elected doge of Venice. He promoted peace, built hospitals, and cared for widows, orphans, and pilgrims. Using his own money he began the reconstruction of St. Mark's Cathedral and the doge's palace, both having been destroyed in the revolution.

At Mass one day, Peter heard, "And he who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be my disciple" (Lk 14:26), and he determined to join Marinus and romuald, hermits living in the Po Delta. They refused to accept him, but shortly afterward he met Abbot Guarin of Cuxa, the great reformer of northern Catalonia and southern France, who took Orseolo and two other Venetians, John Gradenego and Morosone, as well as the two hermits, back to cuxa abbey on Sept. 1, 978. Orseolo was immediately a model religious, seeking the most menial tasks and undertaking severe penances.

As for Venice and her affairs, Peter contented himself with instructing his son, Otto, then doge, in the virtues of a Christian ruler. After Peter's death a cult sprang up; his body was translated in 1027; his cult was approved for Cuxa and Venice in 1731 and later for all Benedictines and camaldolese.

peter damian (Vita s. Romualdi, Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne [Paris 187890] 144:959963) claimed that Orseolo entered Cuxa in reparation for his share in the revolt and murder of his doge predecessor. Orseolo's chaplain, John the Deacon of Venice (Chronicon Venetum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica [Berlin 1826] Section: Scriptores. 7:4), gave other reasons. And while it is likely that the Candiano family deliberately fostered the story given in Damian's account, it remains a fact that Orseolo's election was somewhat mysterious. The piety of certain chronicles may conceal the factional strife to which Orseolo owed his office. Furthermore, mild and tolerant, he probably encouraged local mischief and was happy to go to a monastery to fulfill an old vow. Peter called himself duke of Venice, Dalmatia, and Croatia, a title that reflected his ambition rather than an historical reality.

Feast: Jan. 10.

Bibliography: Vita (1027) by a monk of Cuxa, in j. mabillon, Acta sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti 5:851860. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 2:678486. h. tolra, St. Pierre Orséolo (Paris 1897). b. schmid, Studien und Mitteilungen aus dem Benediktiner- und Cistercienser-Orden 22 (1901) 71112; 251281. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige (Metten 193338) 1:8184. r. cessi, Enciclopedia Italiana di scienzi, littere ed arti (Rome 192939) 25:603. g. f. von pÖlnitz, Venedig (Munich 1949) 7884. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:6465.

[c. m. aherne]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Peter Orseolo, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Peter Orseolo, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peter-orseolo-st

"Peter Orseolo, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peter-orseolo-st

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.