Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 15 November – The Memorial of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church: Pope Benedict XVI on St Albert, Faith and Science

Thought for the Day – 15 November – The Memorial of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church Pope Benedict XVI on St Albert, Faith and Science (Excerpt)

One of the great masters of medieval theology is St Albert the Great.   The title “Great”, (Magnus), with which he has passed into history indicates the vastness and depth of his teaching, which he combined with holiness of life.   However, his contemporaries did not hesitate to attribute to him titles of excellence even then.   One of his disciples, Ulric of Strasbourg, called him the “wonder and miracle of our epoch”.

He still has a lot to teach us.   Above all, St Albert shows that there is no opposition between faith and science, despite certain episodes of misunderstanding that have been recorded in history.   A man of faith and prayer, as was St Albert the Great, can serenely foster the study of the natural sciences and progress in knowledge of the micro- and macrocosm, discovering the laws proper to the subject, since all this contributes to fostering thirst for and love of God.   The Bible speaks to us of creation as of the first language through which God who is supreme intelligence, who is the Logos reveals to us something of himself.   The Book of Wisdom, for example, says that the phenomena of nature, endowed with greatness and beauty, is like the works of an artist through which, by analogy, we may know the Author of creation (cf. Wis 13: 5).   With a classical similitude in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance one can compare the natural world to a book written by God that we read according to the different approaches of the sciences (cf. Address to the participants in the Plenary Meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 31 October 2008; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 5 November 2008, p. 6).   How many scientists, in fact, in the wake of St Albert the Great, have carried on their research inspired by wonder at and gratitude for a world which, to their eyes as scholars and believers, appeared and appears as the good work of a wise and loving Creator! Scientific study is then transformed into a hymn of praise.   Enrico Medi, a great astrophysicist of our time, whose cause of beatification has been introduced, wrote:  “O you mysterious galaxies… I see you, I calculate you, I understand you, I study you and I discover you, I penetrate you and I gather you.   From you I take light and make it knowledge, I take movement and make it wisdom, I take sparkling colours and make them poetry;  I take you stars in my hands and, trembling in the oneness of my being, I raise you above yourselves and offer you in prayer to the Creator, that through me alone you stars can worship” (Le Opere. Inno alla creazione).

St Albert the Great reminds us that there is friendship between science and faith and that through their vocation to the study of nature, scientists can take an authentic and fascinating path of holiness.

His extraordinary openmindedness is also revealed in a cultural feat which he carried out successfully, that is, the acceptance and appreciation of Aristotle’s thought.   In St Albert’s time, in fact, knowledge was spreading of numerous works by this great Greek philosopher, who lived a quarter of a century before Christ, especially in the sphere of ethics and metaphysics.   They showed the power of reason, explained lucidly and clearly the meaning and structure of reality, its intelligibility and the value and purpose of human actions.   St Albert the Great opened the door to the complete acceptance in medieval philosophy and theology of Aristotle’s philosophy, which was subsequently given a definitive form by St Thomas.   This reception of a pagan pre-Christian philosophy, let us say, was an authentic cultural revolution in that epoch.   Yet many Christian thinkers feared Aristotle’s philosophy, a non-Christian philosophy, especially because, presented by his Arab commentators, it had been interpreted in such a way, at least in certain points, as to appear completely irreconcilable with the Christian faith. Hence a dilemma arose: are faith and reason in conflict with each other or not?

This is one of the great merits of St Albert:  with scientific rigour he studied Aristotle’s works, convinced that all that is truly rational is compatible with the faith revealed in the Sacred Scriptures.   In other words, St Albert the Great thus contributed to the formation of an autonomous philosophy, distinct from theology and united with it only by the unity of the truth.   So it was that in the 13th century a clear distinction came into being between these two branches of knowledge, philosophy and theology, which, in conversing with each other, cooperate harmoniously in the discovery of the authentic vocation of man, thirsting for truth and happiness:  and it is above all theology, that St Albert defined as “emotional knowledge”, which points out to human beings their vocation to eternal joy, a joy that flows from full adherence to the truth.

St Albert the Great was capable of communicating these concepts in a simple and understandable way.   An authentic son of St Dominic, he willingly preached to the People of God, who were won over by his words and by the example of his life.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray the Lord that learned theologians will never be lacking in holy Church, wise and devout like St Albert the Great and that he may help each one of us to make our own the “formula of holiness” that he followed in his life:  “to desire all that I desire for the glory of God, as God desires for His glory all that He desires”, in other words always to be conformed to God’s will, in order to desire and to do everything only and always for His glory.

Pope Benedict XVI – Saint Peter’s Square, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

St Albert the Great, Pray for us!st albert the great - pray for us


Quote/s of the Day – 15 November – The Memorials of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church and St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907)

Quote/s of the Day – 15 November – The Memorials of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church and St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907)

“Nor could He have commanded anything more lovable,
for this sacrament produces love and union.
It is characteristic of the greatest love to give itself as food.
“Had not the men of my text exclaimed:
‘ Who will feed us with his flesh to satisfy our hunger?’
as if to say: ‘I have loved them and they have loved me
so much that I desire to be within them
and they wish to receive me so that the,
may become my members.’
There is no more intimate or more natural means
for them to be united to me and I to them.
Nor could He have commanded anything
which is more like eternal life.
Eternal life flows from this sacrament
because God with all sweetness
pours Himself out upon the blessed.”

St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church

“Our Redeemer ever present in the most Blessed Sacrament,
extends His hands to everyone.
He opens His heart and says, ‘Come to Me, all of you.'”

St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907)our redeemer ever present - st raphael kalinowski - 15 nov 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 November – – The Memorial of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church

One Minute Reflection – 15 November – – The Memorials of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church and St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907)

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God ….Matthew 5:8

REFLECTION – “The surest and quickest way to attain perfection is to strive for purity of heart.   Once the obstacles have been removed, God finds a clear path and does wonders both in and through the soul.”…St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church

“God refuses only the person who does not admit his own weakness; He sends away only the unhappy proud person. You must “hold him” well and strongly, with a poor spirit, with a poor heart, with a life entirely poor…”St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907)

the surest and quickest way - st albert the great - 15 nov 2017god refuses - st raphael kalinowski - 15 nov 2017PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Albert great by his gift for reconciling human wisdom with divine faith. Help us so to follow his teaching that every advance in science may lead us to a deeper knowledge and love of You. May his prayers on our behalf be a succour to us all.   We ask too for the intercession of the blessed Father St Raphael that his zeal and perseverance may be the driving force of our lives.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, albert the great - pray for us - 14 nov 2017st raphaelk kalinowski - pray for us - 15 nov 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 15 November – The Memorial of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church

Our Morning Offering – 15 November – The Memorial of St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church

Prayer “O Lord, King of all!”
St Albert the Great (1200-1280)

We pray to You, O Lord,
who are the supreme Truth,
and all truth is from You.
We beseech You, O Lord,
who are the highest Wisdom,
and all the wise depend on You for their wisdom.
You are the supreme Joy,
and all who are happy owe it to You.
You are the Light of minds,
and all receive their understanding from You.
We love, we love You above all.
We seek You, we follow You,
and we are ready to serve You.
We desire to dwell under Your power
for You are the King of all. Amenour lord, king of all - st albert the geat op


Saint of the Day – 15 November – St Albert the Great OP (1200-1280) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 15 November – St ALBERTUS MAGNUS/Albert the Great OP (1200-1280) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church – Doctor universalis (Universal Doctor) – Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers,Theologian, Scientist, Philosopher, Teacher, Writer.   Born in c 1200 at Lauingen an der Donau, Swabia (part of modern Germany) – 15 November 1280 at Cologne, Prussia (part of modern Germany) of natural causes.   Patronages – • Medical Technicians• Natural Sciences• Philosophers• schoolchildren• Scientists (proclaimed on 13 August 1948 by Pope Pius XII) Theology students.   Scholars have referred to him as the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages.H_LITANY-OF-ALBERT-THE-GREATSaint-Albert-the-Great - HEADERSOC0080

Born around 1206 in Launingen, Germany, Albert was educated as a young man at the University of Padua, and joined the Dominican Order in 1223.   He spent the following years engaged in various studies and teaching assignments in several German cities, most prominently Cologne.   He left Cologne for the University of Paris in 1245.

It was there that one of his students, a brilliant if quiet and heavy-set young man was so impressed by him that he later accompanied him back to Cologne and later became his most famous pupil!   Albert said of his student, St Thomas Aquinas, after St. Thomas’ remarkable explanation of a difficult treatise, “We call this young man a dumb ox but one day his bellowing in his teaching will be heard throughout the world.”

ST ALBERT AND ST THOMAS. getty - my snipSt-Albert-and-St-Thomas-Aquinas (1)

Not that St Albert wasn’t an intellectual heavyweight in his own right.   He was known as Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great).   St Albert can truly be called a Renaissance man, a century before the Renaissance actually began!   This Dominican friar and bishop was also known for his scholarly contributions to the sciences and philosophy as well as theology.   The publication of his complete writings in Paris in 1899 came to 38 volumes and covered his extensive knowledge of such diverse subjects as theology, botany, astronomy, mineralogy, alchemy (the forerunner of chemistry), justice and law among others!   He was the first to comment on virtually all of the writings of Aristotle, thus making them accessible to wider academic debate.   The study of Aristotle brought him to study and comment on the teachings of Muslim academics, notably Avicenna and Averroes and this would bring him into the heart of academic debate.

In 1254 Albert was made provincial of the Dominican Order and fulfilled the duties of the office with great care and efficiency.   During his tenure he publicly defended the Dominicans against attacks by the secular and regular faculty of the University of Paris, commented on John the Evangelist and answered what he perceived as errors of the Islamic philosopher Averroes.

In 1259 he took part in the General Chapter of the Dominicans at Valenciennes together with Thomas Aquinas, masters Bonushomo Britto, Florentius, and Peter (later Pope Innocent V) establishing a ratio studiorum or program of studies for the Dominicans that featured the study of philosophy as an innovation for those not sufficiently trained to study theology.   This innovation initiated the tradition of Dominican scholastic philosophy put into practice, for example, in 1265 at the Order’s studium provinciale at the convent of Santa Sabina in Rome, out of which would develop the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the “Angelicum”

In 1260 Pope Alexander IV made him bishop of Regensburg, an office from which he resigned after three years.   During the exercise of his duties he enhanced his reputation for humility by refusing to ride a horse, in accord with the dictates of the Order, instead traversing his huge diocese on foot.   This earned him the affectionate sobriquet “boots the Bishop” from his parishioners.   In 1263 Pope Urban IV relieved him of the duties of bishop and asked him to preach the eighth Crusade in German-speaking countries.  After this, he was especially known for acting as a mediator between conflicting parties.   In Cologne he is not only known for being the founder of Germany’s oldest university there but also for “the big verdict” (der Große Schied) of 1258, which brought an end to the conflict between the citizens of Cologne and the archbishop.   Among the last of his labours was the defense of the orthodoxy of his former pupil, Thomas Aquinas, whose death in 1274 grieved Albert (the story that he travelled to Paris in person to defend the teachings of Aquinas can not be confirmed).

After suffering a collapse of health in 1278, he died on 15 November 1280, in the Dominican convent in Cologne, Germany.   Since then 15 November 1954, his relics are in a Roman sarcophagus in the crypt of the Dominican St Andreas Church in Cologne. Although his body was discovered to be incorrupt at the first exhumation three years after his death, at the exhumation in 1483 only a skeleton remained.

Pope Pius XI, when he canonised him in 1931, said he had “that rare and divine gift, scientific instinct, in the highest degree.”   Like St Thomas, he was very much influenced by Aristotle in seeing the compatibility of natural sciences and philosophy with theology. Also like his star pupil, he rightly saw God’s hand behind all creation!

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 15 November

St Albertus Magnus (Optional Memorial) –;

St Alonso Rodriguez
St Anianus of Wilparting
St Arnulf of Toul
Bl Caius of Korea
St Desiderius of Cahors
St Eugene of Toledo
St Felix of Nola
St Findan
St Fintan the Missionary
St Gurias of Edessa
Bl Hélène-Marie-Philippine de Chappotin de Neuville
Bl Hugh Faringdon
Bl John Eynon
Bl John Rugg
Bl John Thorne
St Joseph Mukasa
St Joseph Pignatelli
St Leopold III
Bl Lucy of Narni
St Luperius of Verona
St Machudd of Llanfechell
St Malo of Aleth
St Marinus of Wilparting
Bl Miguel Díaz Sánchez
St Paduinus of Le Mans

Bl Richard Whiting
St Rocco Gonzalez
Bl Roger James
St Shamuna of Edessa
St Sidonius of Saint-Saens

Martyrs of Hippo – 20 saints: 20 Christians martyred together and celebrated by Saint Augustine. The only details about them to survive are three of the names – Fidenziano, Valerian and Victoria. Hippo, Numidia (in north Africa).

Martyrs of North Africa – 3 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in imperial Roman north Africa. The only details that have survived are the names of three of them – Fidentian, Secundus and Varicus.