St. Romuald was born at Ravenna about the year 956. In spite of an innate desire for virtue and sanctity, his early life was wasted in the service of the world and its pleasures. Then one day, obliged by his father, Sergius, to be present at duel fought by him, he beheld him slay his adversary. The crime made such an impression upon him that he determined to expiate it for forty days, as though it were entirely his own. For this purpose he retired to a Benedictine monastery of San Apollinare, near Ravenna, where he became Abbot (996-999). After founding several monasteries he laid the foundations of the austere Order of Camaldoli in Tuscany.
Like all Saints, Romuald fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and humans. In the beginning of his spiritual life he was strongly assailed by numerous temptations, which he conquered by vigilance and prayer. More than one attempt was made on his life, but Divine Providence enabled him to escape from the danger. Like many servants of God, he also became the victim of calumny, which he bore in patience and silence. In his old age he increased his austerities instead of diminishing them.
Romuald died in the monastery of Castro, which he founded in Marquisate of Ancona, on June 19, about the year 1027. He was canonized in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
PRAYER: Lord, amid the things of this world, let us be wholeheartedly committed to heavenly perfection You have given us in St. Romuald the Abbot. Amen.