Thursday, November 15, 2012

St. Albert the Great

Today, November 15, the Church celebrates the optional memorial of St. Albert the Great, "the light of Germany", named "Doctor Universalis" because of his vast knowledge and writings.

Albert was born in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany in 1206. As a young man, he studied at the University of Padua and there he met Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the Dominican who made the rounds of the universities of Europe, drawing the best young men of the universities into the Dominicans.

At age 16, Albert entered the Dominican Order. After several teaching assignments in his order, he came in 1241 to the University of Paris, where he lectured in theology. While teaching in Paris, he was assigned by his order in 1248 to set up a house of studies for the order in Cologne.

In Paris, he had gathered around him a small band of budding theologians, the chief of whom was Thomas Aquinas, who accompanied him to Cologne and became his greatest pupil. This young religious, already well - trained in theological studies, was silent among the others, to the point of being called by his fellow students “the Mute Ox of Sicily.” But Albert silenced them, saying, “The bellowings of this ox will resound throughout the entire world.”

Later, obedience took him back to Germany as Provincial of his Order. As Provincial he journeyed with no money, always on foot, visiting the numerous monasteries under his jurisdiction, throughout an immense territory which included: Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, and Holland.

He was no longer young when he had to submit to the formal order of the Pope to serve as the Bishop of Ratisbonne. There his zeal was rewarded only by harsh trials, while his virtue was perfected. When he asked to be relieved of his responsibilities, Pope Urban IV permitted him to return to the peace of conventual life. Albert wrote many works on the natural sciences, on philosophy and theology, which form from twenty-one to thirty-eight volumes, depending on the edition.

He died, apparently of fatigue, at the age of seventy-three, on November 15, 1280, and his body was buried in Cologne in the Dominican church. He was canonized on December 16, 1931. Proclaiming his holiness, Pope Pius XI added the title of Doctor of the Church. He is known as Albert the Great.

St. Albert is the patron of: the archdiocese of Cincinnati Ohio; medical technicians; natural sciences; philosophers; school children; scientists; students; students of theology; and World Youth Day.

Quote: "The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive all that you ask."

Prayer of St. Albert

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who seekest those who stray and receivest them when returning, make me approach to Thee through the frequent hearing of They Word, lest I sin against my neighbor by the blindness of human judgement, through the austerity of false justice, through comparing his inferior status, through too much trust in my merits or through ignorance of the Divine Judgement. Guide me to search diligently each corner of my conscience lest the flesh dominate the spirit.

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