Feast Day : July 30 (formerly December 4)
Name meaning: Golden-tongued
Peter was born at Imola, Emilia, in what is now Italy, around the year 400, and converted to Christianity as an adult. He was baptized, instructed and ordained deacon by Bishop Cornelius of Imola. According to legend, he was made bishop of Ravenna in 433 to replace John of Ravenna by Pope St. Sixtus III (r. 432–440) in consequence of a vision. As bishop, John immediately set about eradicating paganism and making needed reforms to his see. He was an especially eloquent preacher, for which he was surnamed Chrysologus (“golden tongued”). It is said that at times he would get so caught up in the excitement of his own preaching that he would become momentarily speechless. Empress Galla Placida was so impressed by his first sermon that she gave generous support to his several building projects, including a baptistry and church dedicated to St. Andrew in Classis, the port of Ravenna. Imperial support continued under her son, Valentinian III. Peter was among those who received a letter from Eutyches, leader of the Monophysite heresy, protesting his condemnation by St. Flavian of Constantinople and the Synod of Constantinople in 448. Peter referred him to the authority of the bishop of Rome and advised him to stop attempting to justify himself and dividing the Church. In 448, Peter received St. Germanus of Auxerre in Ravenna. When Germanus died there on July 31, Peter officiated at his funeral, keeping his hood and sackcloth as relics. Soon thereafter, he had a premonition of his own death and returned to Imola for his last days. He died on July 31, 449 or 450. In art, Peter is shown being presented to Pope Sixtus III by SS. Peter and Apollinaris of Ravenna. He is also depicted with a dish in his hand.