Delfino entered the Camaldolese Monastery of St. Michael, which was located on the island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon. In 1479, he was elected abbot of the same community. The following year he was made prior general of the Order, based at Camaldoli in the region of Arezzo. He held that office until the year 1513 when he resigned in favour of Paul Giustiniani, whom he had invested with the Camaldolese habit in 1510.
Delfino was the forty-sixth prior general from St. Romuald, the founder of the Camaldolese, and he was the last elected for life--the office after him being held for three years only. In 1488, he received the votes of his countrymen in Venice for the cardinalate, but refused to accept this dignity from Pope Innocent VIII.
The letters of Delfino, which number more than 4,000, addressed to different religious of his own and other orders and to various secular dignitaries, contain accounts of contemporary events in his own Order and the Church in general. A collection of his Latin letters was published at Venice in 1524. Several others that had been omitted in the Venetian editions were included later in Martène's "Veterum Scriptorum amplissima collectio". The "Apothegmata Patrum" and the "Dialogues" on Savonarola are still unedited.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pietro Delfino". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. The entry cites:
- MARTENE, Veterum Scriptorum et monumentorum ecclesiasticorum et dogmaticorum amplissima collectio, III, 915.