C. 380–C. 450; Feast: July 30


Born in northeastern Italy, Peter was a deacon before Emperor Valentinian III named him archbishop of Ravenna, capital of the Western empire, about 425. The empress heard his first sermon as bishop and became a patron regarding building projects and church reforms. Many of his sermons survive; they reveal good preparation, pastoral warmth and many details of Christian life in fifth-century Ravenna. Peter supported Pope Leo the Great’s teaching on the Incarnation and counseled Eutyches of Constantinople to accept Rome’s authority. He may later have been dubbed “chrysologus” (Greek for golden-worded) to give the Western church a preacher equal to John Chrysostom (golden-tongued) in the East. Peter was declared a doctor of the church in 1729.