Aveva 48 anni (era nato nel 928).

Il suo primo impegno fu quello di ricostruire il Palazzo Ducale e la Chiesa di S. Marco.

Due anni dopo l’elezione, forse perché colto dal rimorso per avere in qualche modo partecipato nel 976 al complotto contro il suo predecessore (Pietro Candiano IV), o forse perché aveva sentore di una vendetta da parte della fazione filo-occidentale, o forse perché fulminato dalla vocazione (dopo la nascita dell’unico figlio lui e la moglie Felicia avevano fatto voto di castità per non incorrere in peccato), decise di farsi monaco.

A Venezia era giunto Guarino, venerabile abate del Monastero di St. Michel de Cuxa nei Pirenei, che era stato a Roma. Prima di rientrare nel proprio monastero voleva però rendere omaggio a San Marco evangelista. Il doge lo aveva ricevuto e trattato con grande deferenza. Entrambi avevano parlato a lungo e Guarino aveva capito che il doge teneva in scarsa considerazione le cose terrene, così lo aveva invitato a lasciare tutto, il mondo e gli onori, e a servire Dio nel monastero.

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