HOW A POOR BOY BECAME A BISHOP, A CARDINAL, AND A SAINT
St. Peter Damian lost both father and mother shortly after his birth. One of his brothers adopted him, but treated him with unnatural harshness, forcing him to work hard and giving him poor food and scanty clothing.
One day Peter found a silver piece, which represented to him a small fortune. A friend told him that he could conscientiously use it for him self, as the owner could not be found.
The only difficulty Peter had was to choose what it was he most needed, for he was in sore need of many things.
While turning the matter over in his young mind, it struck him that he could do a still better thing, viz., have a Mass said for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially for the souls of his dear parents. At the cost of a great sacrifice, he put this thought into effect and had the Mass offered.
The Holy Souls repaid his sacrifice most generously. From that day forward a complete change became noticeable in his fortunes.
His eldest brother called at the house where he lived and, horrified at the brutal hardships the little fellow was subjected to, arranged that he be handed over to his own care. He clad him and fed him as his own child, and educated and cared for him most affectionately. Blessing followed upon blessing. Peter's wonderful talents became known, and he was rapidly promoted to the priesthood; sometime after he was raised to the episcopacy and, finally, created Cardinal. Miracles attested his great sanctity, so that after death he was canonized and made a Doctor of the Church.
These wonderful graces came to him after that one Mass said for the Holy Souls.
~ Excerpt from Read Me Or Rue It By Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P. (E.D.M.) ~