Pope Benedict XVI, in his September 9, 2009 general audience, noted that the Benedictine monk, cardinal, and Doctor of the Church, St. Peter Damian (1007-72), was “one of the most significant figures of the 11th century … a monk, a lover of solitude and at the same time a fearless man of the Church, committed personally to the task of reform, initiated by the Popes of the time.” St. Peter Damian was born into a poor family (and was orphaned a young age), demonstrated remarkable intellectual skills as a teenager, and by the age of twenty five was a renowned teacher. He then renounced the secular life and became a monk, and eventually became prior of the hermitage at Fonte Avellana.Share
Between 1049 and 1054, he composed the powerful book Liber Gomorrhianus, or “Book of Gomorrah”, addressing it to the new pope, Leo IX, who himself would eventually be canonized. Pope St. Leo IX praised St. Peter Damian's work and the monk became a key reformer, addressing widespread excesses and grave sins.
Ite ad Thomam Books and Media has now published a rigorous and careful translation of The Book of Gomorrah, praised by scholars as “highly readable”, “clear and well-articulated”, and “excellent and accurate”. Carl E. Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, recently corresponded with the translator, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, who is a graduate student at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and a regular contributor to a number of Catholic periodicals, including CWR. (Read more.)