Of the noble Onesti family of Ravenna, Italy, he retired when he was twenty to San Apollinare Monastery at Classe to expiate his father's killing of a relative in a duel and became a monk there. After three years at the monastery, he left in quest of a more austere life and became a disciple of a hermit named Marinus near Venice. About 978, the two of them with Abbot Guarinus of Cuxa in Catalonia persuaded Peter Orseolo, doge of Venice, to resign (he had become doge by acquiescing in the murder of his predecessor). Peter accompanied Marinus and Romuald back to Cuxa and became a Benedictine there, while Romuald and Marinus built a hermitage near the monastery and lived as hermits. Romuald returned to Italy ten years later to help his father, Sergius, who had become a monk after his duel, resolve his doubts about his vocation. Emperor Otto III appointed Romuald abbot of San Apollinare in Classe, but he left after two years to live as a hermit near Pereum. He then set out to evangelize the Magyars in Hungary but was forced to turn back because of illness and probably by his age. He spent the rest of his life founding monasteries and hermitages in northern and central Italy, notably at Vallombrosa in 1012, and in 1023 at Camaldoli near Arezzo. The five hermitages he built at Camaldoli developed into the mother house of the Camaldolese Order, which combined the cenobitic and eremitical life under a modified Benedictine rule that he drew up. He died at Valdi Castro near Fabiano on June 19.
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