St. Romuald (c. 950-1027)
Reformer of the monastic life. Romuald was born in Ravenna, Italy. After his father killed another man in a duel over property, Romuald entered the nearby Benedictine monastery. During his three years here, Romuald followed the Rule of St. Benedict so well it made some of the other monks, who had grown rather lax, uncomfortable. So for the next thirty years, Romuald went about Italy founding monasteries and hermitages. Several times Romuald attempted a mission trip to Hungary, but fell ill each time. At one time, Romuald was falsely accused of a scandalous crime by a young nobleman whom he rebuked. For this, Romuald was unjustly punished with severe penance, the prohibition on saying Mass, and was excommunicated, all of which he bore silently for the six months it lasted. In 1012, Romuald founded a monastery at Camaldoli and established here the Camaldolese Benedictines, or the Camaldolese Order of hermits (a stricter adaption of the Rule of St. Benedict). Romuald died at the monastery of Val di Castro.
O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.