Saint Peter Orseolo

Saint Peter Orseolo stained glass window at Saint Meinrad Abbey, Saint Meinrad, Indiana, USA, artist unknown; much thanks to Novice Shawn Henderson; pray for Shawn's vocation and novitiateAlso known as

  • Peter Urseolus



Born to a wealthy, noble, and prominent family. Married at age 18 to Felicitas, and the father of one son, Peter, who became the Doge of Venice in 991. Admiral and commander of the Venetian fleet by age 20. Rid the Adriatic Sea of pirates.

Chosen Doge of Venice on 12 August 976, the day after a revolt, the murder of his predecessor, and a fire that destroyed much of the city. Built hospitals and orphanages, started reconstruction of the Cathedral of Saint Mark, and began social programs to help widows, orphans, pilgrims, and the abandoned. He poured much of his own fortune into the effort, and within two years Peter had restored law and order, and rebuilt much of the city. Rightly considered one of Venice‘s greatest rulers.

In the night of 1 September 978, believing his duty to the world fulfilled, and possibly feeling crushed by it all, Peter secretly left Venice for the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa in the Pyrenees on the border of France and Spain, not even telling his family of his plans. Benedictine monk. While the move was sudden, it was apparently something he’d been considering for over a decade. When his wife learned of his move, she approved; they’d lived chastely since the birth of their son, and she knew of his spiritual yearnings. Spiritual student of Saint Romuald at Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa at whose suggestion he built a hermitage, and retired even further from the world, spending the rest of his life in solitude and prayer.





Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Peter Orseolo“. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 December 2020. Web. 30 July 2021. <>