Friday, November 15, 2013

Patron Saint of Faith and Reason

You can tell pictures of St. Albert the Great because he is the Dominican with a bishop's mitre.  This is really ironic because he was embarrassed to wear it.  He never felt himself worthy of ecclesial leadership.  In fact, after two years of being named bishop of Ratisbon, in 1260, he resigned, because he considered himself unworthy.

And this was from a man called Albert Magnus--even while he was living!

He began his career teaching at the University of Parish.  This was where he met Thomas Aquinas, who was one of his students.  It is Albert who is credited to highlighting Aquinas' intelligence, when he heard the "cool kids," ridiculing him as a "dumb ox."  Albert predicted that one day Thomas Aquinas would outshine them all.

Albert, himself, was no slouch.  He helped introduce Aristotelian physics as interpreted by Jewish and Arabian philosophers into Western thought.  Together with St. Bonaventure he defended the right of the Mendicant Orders to teach in the universities.  He taught in various universities and served his religious order, whenever called upon.

He is known to have preached that human reason and faith are necessarily complementary with each other.  His personal life was holy and exemplified pastoral charity.  He was declared a saint; then a doctor of the church, and Pope Pius XII named him patron of those involved in the natural sciences.  His feast day is November 15.

Lord, 

   You made Saint Albert great through his quest for Your wisdom.  
    Grant us Your grace, fill us with Your bountiful blessings,

    and give us a passion for prayer and study.     Amen.

h/t  Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers.  November 15.  Saint Albert the Great.  Friar, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.  Feast.  pp. 407-419