Romuald was born in Ravenna, Italy, around 950. He was of the aristocratic Onestis. Romuald lived the standard self-indulgent life of the well-to-do until, at the age of 20, he was a second for his father in a duel over property. The other duelist was killed and Romuald was devestated. He retired to the Bascilica of Saint’Appollinaire in Classe where he spent 40 days in prayer and reparation. It was then that he decided that he would become a monk there. However, he found the lifestyle not strict enough for him and, after getting into some trouble with his insistence on zealousness, he moved to Venice to study under a hermit named Marinus, a man of extreme severity.
About 978, Romuald and Marinus moved to Cuxa, living near the Benedictine monastery for ten years. During that time, Romuald took advantage of the library to learn as much as possible about monasticism.
After that, Romuald spent thirty years traveling around Italy founding and reforming monasteries. He was so successful that the holy Emperor Otto III asked him to be abbot at Saint’Appollinaire. He tried for a year but the monks were so resistant that Romuald, in a fit of anger, threw the abbot’s staff at the emperor and left, returning to his hermitic roots. In1012, Romuald was asked to establish a monastery on land in Val-de-Castro donated by Campus Maldoli, or Camadoli. It was built up over the next few years and became the mother-house for the Camadolese order, where Romuald died, as he had predicted, alone in his cell, in 1027.
In 1466, his body was found to be incorrupt and the pope had it transferred to Fabriano a few years later.
Saint Romuald, pray for us!
“We so venerate and worship the relics of the martyrs and confessors that Him hose martyrs and confessors they are, we may adore; we honor the servants, that honor may rebound to the Lord, who said: “Who receives you, receives me.””