Double Feast of Saint Romuald, Abbot
Missa "Os justi"
was born at Ravenna, in Italy around the year 950. In his youth Romuald indulged in the usual thoughtless and even vicious life of a tenth-century noble, yet felt greatly drawn to the life of a hermit. At the age of twenty, struck with horror because his father had killed an enemy in a duel, he fled to the Abbey of San Apollinare-in-Classe. There, after some hesitation, he entered the Abbey, finding the faith.
San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St. Maieul of Cluny, but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for, and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity giving himself up in prayer and meditation (Introit) to the work of penance undertaken by Jesus.
When he was 28, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia, and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations, and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St. Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery.
For five years the saint lived a life of great austerity, gathering round him a band of disciples. Then, hearing that his father, Sergius, who had become a monk, was tormented with doubts as to his vocation, he returned in haste to Italy, subjected Sergius to severe discipline, and so resolved his doubts.
Romuald himself was attacked by satan, who tried to ensnare him. Yet the good saint always drove him away in terror (Epistle). He enjoyed a great influence over princes and kings (ibid) which he used for the good of souls. He traveled Italy for nearly 30 years, founding many monasteries and hermitages. For some time he made Pereum his favourite resting place. In 1005 he went to Val-di- Castro for about two years, and left it, prophesying that he would return to die there alone and unaided.
Though he wanted to go into Hungary to convert souls, a persistent illness prevented him from his goal. In 1012 he appeared at Vallombrosa, and settled into the Diocese of Arezzo. Here, according to the legend,
like the Patriarch Jacob, he saw in a vision a ladder which reached from earth to Heaven, on which ascended and descended monks clothed in white. This happened in Tuscany, on the field of a certain Maldolus. Romuald bought this "Campo Maldoli" and founded there the monastery of "Camalooli" and the "Camaloolese" branch of the Benedictine Order (Communion).
St. Romuald built on this land five cells for hermits, which, with the monastery at Fontebuono, built two years later, became the famous mother-house of the Camaldolese Order. In 1013 he retired to Monte-Sitria. In 1021 he went to Bifolco. Five years later he returned to Val-di-Castro where he died in 1027 as he had prophesied, alone in his cell.
Many miracles were wrought at his tomb, over which an altar was allowed to be erected in 1032. In 1466 his body was found still incorrupt; it was translated to Fabriano in 1481. In 1595 Pope Clement VIII fixed his feast on February 7, the day of the translation of his relics, and extended its celebration to the whole Church. He is represented in art pointing to a ladder on which are monks ascending to Heaven.
St. Romuald always showed in the midst of his austerities a face so full of joy that those who saw him rejoiced. Let us imitate him as we prepare for the penitential season.
We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
Missa "Os justi"
Go to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
INTROIT: Ecclesiasticus 45: 30