ST ALBERT THE GREAT (ALBERTUS MAGNUS), BISHOP, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – FEAST DAY: NOVEMBER 15
Albert, called the Great, because of his extraordinary learning, was born at Lauingen on the Danube in Swabia, and was carefully educated from boyhood. To pursue higher studies, he left his native land and went to Padua. At the urging of blessed Jordan, Master General of the Order of Preachers, and against the futile opposition of his uncle, he sought admission into the family of Dominic.
After being elected to membership among the brethren, he was conspicuous for his piety and for his strict observance of the rule. He had the greatest love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and burned with zeal for souls. He was sent to complete his studies at Cologne. Afterwards he was appointed professor at Hildesheim, Fribourg, Ratisbon and Strasbourg, successively. In the chair at Paris, he gained great fame. Among his beloved pupils was Thomas Aquinas and he was the first to recognise and acclaim the greatness of that intellect.
One of his pupils was St Thomas Aquinas
At Anagni, in the presence of the Supreme Pontiff Alexander IV, he refuted that William who had impiously attacked the mendicant Orders. He was later appointed Bishop of Ratisbon. In giving counsel and in settling disputes, he bore himself so admirably that he earned the title of Peacemaker.
He wrote many things on almost every branch of learning, especially on sacred subjects, and composed some magnificent works upon the Sacrament of the Altar. Most famous for virtue and miracles, he fell asleep in the Lord in the year 1280. As, by the authority of the Roman Pontiffs, he had been venerated for a long time in many dioceses and in the Order of Preachers. Pope Pius XI gladly acceded to the wish of the Congregation of Sacred Rites and, adding the title of Doctor, extended his feast to the universal Church. Pius XII constituted him the heavenly patron with God of all students of the natural sciences.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964