Monday, February 14, 2011

SAN ALBERTO MAGNO: Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Doctor of the Church

            Saint Albert was born at their family castle at Lauingen, Germany, on the banks of the Danube, about 1203 and studied at the University of Padua.  In 1223, the eldest son of the Count of Bollstadt was received into the Dominican Order by Blessed Jordan of Saxony in 1223.  He attributed his vocation to the Virgin Mary to whom he bore a tender devotion.

            Saint Albert was one of the great intellects of the medieval Church.  He was one of the first and among the greatest natural scientists.  His knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geography (one of his treatises proved the earth to be round) was so encyclopedic.  He wrote profusely on logic, metaphysics, mathematics, the Bible and theology.  He pioneered the Scholastic method, so brilliantly developed by his pupil and disciple, Saint Thomas Aquinas, by applying Aristotelian methods to revealed doctrine.  His brilliance and erudition caused him to be called “The Universal Doctor” by his contemporaries.

            Saint Albert the Great died on November 15, 1280.  Three years after his death, his body was found in a state preservation and exhaling a delightful fragrance.  This condition lasted for over two hundred years.  The relics of the Saint were removed from the damaged Dominican church of Cologne to Saint Andrew’s Church in 1804.

Pope Pius canonized and declared Saint Albert the Great a Doctor of the Church.  In 1941, Pope Pius XII constituted him patron before God of students of the natural sciences.

                        O God, fountain and origin of all wisdom, you made the bishop Blessed Albert great in harmonizing human wisdom with divine faith; grant, we beseech you, that adhering to his magisterial teaching, and through the advance of the sciences, we may come to a deeper knowledge and love of you.  This we ask you through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


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