15 November: St Albert the Great OP, Bp & Doctor (+1280)

Over 700 years after his death St Albert the Great still teaches us.

Leaving his native Germany to study in Italy this highly intelligent young man came across Jordan of Saxony. Jordan was the right hand man of St Dominic, who after the death of the Founder was the Master of the Order of Preachers. Through Master Jordan, Albert was captivated by the spirit of Dominic and overcoming the great resistance from his noble family, he joined the vision of Dominic by becoming a poor itinerant preacher.

Even when he became bishop of Regensburg he never accepted to ride a horse for his travels in order to keep the spirit of poverty he embraced in the footsteps of Dominic. Travel he did extensively from Italy to Germany passing through France several times over in his work as theologian, philosopher, bishop, preacher, scientist and prior provincial of Germany. One of his students was none other then his brother Dominican Thomas Aquinas.

Albert championed the spirit of St Dominic which is summed up in the motto of his order: Veritas, Truth. Captivated by the love of God, Albert sought His presence in the created order. The amount of topics he wrote about is breathtaking, and in all he excelled. No wonder he is known as the Universal Doctor. For Albert, as for the Faith Catholic, there is no enmity between Science and Faith. For Albert Faith and Reason go hand in hand and contribute towards the pursuit of Truth. We know by Faith that Christ is the Truth, and as we follow in His sacred footsteps, we can discover glimmers of this Truth all around us. The life of Albert is a great adventure, an adventure of purity and light, of faith and reason. What a great model he is for us today as we propose to our world the light of the Gospel. In Albert, we truly find an inspiration for the New Evangelisation. As we prepare for the Year of Faith proclaimed recently by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, we do well by looking at the life and principles of this wonder of humanity and ask his intercession.

The final resting place of St Albert in the Dominican Church of St Andrew in Cologne

God our Father, you endowed St Albert with the talent of combining human wisdom with divine faith. Keep us true to his teachings that the advance of human knowledge may deepen our knowledge and love of you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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