St Albert the Great, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church

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Albert, called the Great, because of his unusual learning, was was born at Lauingen on the Danube in Suabia and carefully educated from his boyhood. He left his country to study in Padua. While he was there he applied to entrance to the Dominicans. His uncle protested futilely against this step, but Blessed Jordan, master general of the Order of Preachers, encouraged it. When Albert had joined the friars, he was shining example of religious observance and devotion. He loved the Blessed Virgin Mary above all and burned with zeal for souls. To complete his studies he was sent to Cologne. Then he was made to professor at Hildesheim, at Freiburg and Ratisbone and at Strasburg. In the master’s chair at Paris, he earned a high reputation. He had Thomas Aquinas for his beloved disciple and was the first to perceive and predict the loftiness of his intellect. At Anagni, in the presence of the Pope Alexander IV, he refuted William, who had wickedly attacked the mendicant orders. Later he was made bishop of Ratisbone, where, in giving counsel and in settling disputes, he worked such wonders, as to deserve the title of peacemaker. He wrote many things about almost all branches of learning, especially the sacred sciences, and composed some famous works about the wonderful Sacrament of the altar. Famous for his virtues and for his miracles, he died in the Lord in the year 1280. By the authority of the pope a cult had long since been granted him in many dioceses and in the Order of Preachers, when Pius XI, willingly acceding to the desire of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, gave him also the title of Doctor and extended his feast to the Universal Church. Pius XII appointed him the heavenly patron with God of all those who study the natural sciences.

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