Romuald, an Italian nobleman, was born around 951 in Ravenna, Italy. When he was twenty, he was shocked to see his father kill a man in a duel. Romuald went to a Benedictine monastery. He wanted to set his own life straight. He also wanted to do penance for his father's drastic deed. The monastery surroundings and lifestyle were new to Romuald. He was used to luxury and laziness until then. The nobleman was impressed by the good example of many of the monks. He decided to become a monk. He asked a good hermit named Marinus to teach him how to become holy. Both Marinus and Romuald tried to spend each day praising and loving God. Romuald's own father Sergius came to observe his son's new way of life. The man was struck by the simplicity and spirit of self-sacrifice. Sergius realized that there had to be great happiness in the monastery because his son freely chose to stay there. That was all Sergius needed. He gave up his wealth and followed his son to spend the rest of his life as a monk too.
Eventually, Romuald began the Camaldolese Benedictine order. He traveled around Italy starting hermitages and monasteries. Wherever he went, he gave his monks a wonderful example of penance. For a whole year, all he ate each day was a bit of boiled beans. Then for three years, he ate only the little food he grew himself. Through these sacrifices Romuald grew closer to God.
Romuald died on June 19, 1027, at the monastery of Valdi-Castro. He was alone in his cell and passed away quietly, no doubt whispering his favorite prayer: "Oh, my sweet Jesus! God of my heart! Delight of pure souls! The object of all my desires!"
How do I value prayer in my life? Is Jesus the center of my life? May Jesus obtain for me the grace to keep my mind and heart fixed on him.