Saints and Theology of the Heart - St. Romauld

Founder of the Camaldolese Order

Feast: June 19

See also:
Denying oneself and following Christ - from the biography by St. Peter Damien

Brief rule for the Camaldolese

Etym:(Rom: good reputation Uald: goveror). "glorious in command".

Saint Romauld was born  in Ravena, Italy around 950 AD.  He was a son of the Onesti family that later governed the city.He was educated without a Christian formation and let himseef be led aastray by the world.  Nevertheless sometimes he would experience strong uncertainties and serious remorse in his conscience.
His father challenged a man to a duel and brought Romaud along with him as witness.  He watched in horror as his father was killed by the man.  Romauld decided to go to a Benedictine monastery in the mountains, where he stayed for three years in prayer and penance.  The superior feared that Romauld would try to seek revenge for his father and would not receive  him as a monk.  He was  finally accepted at the request of the Archbishop. 

His exemplary life bothered the  other monk and was left to himself.  He met only with one rude and rough monk named Marino.  They sharing helped him to progress rapidly in the life of penitence.  They attained conversions together, among them the civil and military leader of Venice and the Duke of Venice (who went to live in prayer and solitude and was later known as Saint Peter Urseolo).

Saint Romauld also struggled with terrible temptations to impurity, but conquered them by invoking the Lord: “Merciful Jesus, have compassion on me.”  After much suffering and rejection from the other monks, he founded a community in 1012 called “camaldolese” (religous of the field of Málduli, the name of the benfactor who gifteth him the land).  They observe perpetual silence and dedicated themselves to prayer. 

In a vision he saw a  ladder on which his disciples were climbing to heaven, dressed in white.  He then changed the old black habit of his religious for a white habit. 

Saint Romauld wanted to be a martyr.  With this intention, he decided to go to Hungary, but evey time  he tried  to set out he became sick.  He understood that his total surrender to God was meant to be given where he already was.  

He obtained many miracles and prophesied his death more then 20 years before it happened.   In the last years he had mystical experiences and would exclaim, “Beloved Jesus Christ, for your friends you are the greatest consolation that exists!”  He died alone in his cell at the monastery of Val-di-Castro on June 19, 1027.

Since the year 1012 Camaldolese monasteries existed around the world, where perpetual silence was observed so that the monks could dedicate themselves entirely to prayer.  


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