St Albert the Great

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"Albert was born in Lauingen, Swabia, at the end of the twelfth century or the beginning of the thirteenth; having completed his studies in Pavia in 1223, he was received into the Order there by Blessed Jordan of Saxony. From 1242 to 1248 he taught at Paris, among all of his students the most diligent being Thomas Aquinas. To students gathered from many lands, Albert taught in a ‘universal’ spirit the new knowledge, that is, aristotelian physics according its Jewish and Arab interpretations. In 1248 he became Regent at the Studium Generale in Cologne, and Thomas followed him there. After fulfilling various duties, he was then elected Provincial of Teutonia from 1254-7, and with the Franciscan Saint Bonaventure he strongly defended the right of the mendicant orders to teach in the universities. Albert was consecrated Bishop of Ratisbon in 1260, but gave up the office after two years, considering himself to be unworthy. He took up teaching again, travelling between Wurzburg, Strasbourg and Cologne. He combined saintly wisdom with human knowledge in a wonderful way, and was a distinguished writer and teacher, but was yet more distinguished in the integrity of his life and in pastoral charity. He was noted for his deep piety towards the sacrament of the Eucharist and the Virgin Mother of God, who, it is said, had helped him to persevere in respect of his holy calling. He left behind writings on sacred doctrine and other sciences, and is worthily called the ‘Great’ and the ‘Universal’ doctor. He died on 15 November, 1280, in Cologne, and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pius II in 1459. He was canonised by Pius XI on 16 December 1931 and Pius XII later declared him the patron saint of those involved in the natural sciences." Stained glass window from the former Dominican nuns chapel in Albany, NY, now part of Maria College.

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Fonte: Lawrence OP

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