November 15 is the feast day of St. Albert the Great. For being called "the great," he's not really that well known. But he should be!
He lived in Germany, and was born around 1200. From an early age, his intellectual abilities were notable. He studied at universities in Italy and France, which were the centers of culture and civilization of the time. After entering the Dominican order, he made a name for himself as one of the intellectual pioneers of the age.
The parish of St. Albert the Great in Minneapolis says this about St. Albert: "He led the way in introducing the writings of Aristotle to Western thought. He pioneered use of the inductive method of reasoning. Albert also was a renowned scholar and researcher in natural science - studying animals, birds, insects, plants and minerals. His 40 volumes of writings served as an encyclopedia of human knowledge at the time in physics, geography, astronomy, mineralogy, chemistry, biology, mathematics, scripture, philosophy and theology."
He was called the "universal doctor" by his contemporaries, and was one of the most well known preachers of the time. His most famous student was none other than St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Albert died in 1280. In 1931, Pope Pius XI proclaimed him a saint and doctor of the church. In 1941, Pope Pius XII proclaimed him patron saint of natural scientists.
Lord, thank you for the work and writings of St. Albert, who shaped the intellectual tradition of the Catholic church. Amen.
It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for "God is Charity" (1John 4:8)
-St. Albert the Great
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