Ecclesiastical abuses and political intrigues characterised the tenth century mileu of Peter Damain. Having embraced a life of prayer and penance at the hermitage of Fonte Avellana in northern Italy, Peter nevertheless took public stands against simony, the practice of buying and selling ecclesiastical offices, and clerical marriage.
In 1057 he was named cardinal-bishop of Ostica, Italy. Peter urged the secular clergy to embrace monastic poverty. His many writings include letters written to influential medieval personages, recommending detachment from worldly goods. He died 1057 and was named Doctor of the Church in 1828.