Bishop and Doctor of the Church
o God, who made the Bishop Saint Albert great by his joining of human wisdom to divine faith, grant, we pray, that we may so adhere to the truths he taught, that through progress in learning we may come to a deeper knowledge and love of you. Through our Lord.
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ST. ALBERT the GREAT
He was known as the "teacher of everything there is to know," was a scientist long before the age of science, was considered a wizard and magician in his own lifetime, and became the teacher and mentor of that other remarkable mind of his time, St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Albert the Great was born in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany; his father was a military lord in the army of Emperor Frederick II. As a young man Albert studied at the University of Padua and there fell under the spell of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the Dominican who made the rounds of the universities of Europe drawing the best young men of the universities into the Dominicans.
After several teaching assignments in his order, he came in 1241 to the University of Paris, where he lectured in theology. While teaching in Paris, he was assigned by his order in 1248 to set up a house of studies for the order in Cologne. In Paris, he had gathered around him a small band of budding theologians, the chief of whom was Thomas Aquinas, who accompanied him to Cologne and became his greatest pupil.
In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg; when he resigned after three years, he was called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. In his latter years, he resided in Cologne, took part in the Council of Lyons in 1274, and in his old age traveled to Paris to defend the teaching of his student Thomas Aquinas.
It was in Cologne that his reputation as a scientist grew. He carried on experiments in chemistry and physics in his makeshift laboratory and built up a collection of plants, insects, and chemical compounds that gave substance to his reputation. When Cologne decided to build a new cathedral, he was consulted about the design. He was friend and adviser to popes, bishops, kings, and statesmen and made his own unique contribution to the learning of his age.
He died a very old man in Cologne on November 15,1280, and is buried in St. Andrea's Church in that city. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. His writings are remarkable for their exact scientific knowledge, and for that reason he has been made the patron saint of scientists.
Thought for the Day: St. Albert the Great was convinced that all creation spoke of God and that the tiniest piece of scientific knowledge told us something about Him. Besides the Bible, God has given us the book of creation revealing something of His wisdom and power. In creation, Albert saw the hand of God.
Taken from "The One Year Book of Saints" by Rev. Clifford Stevens published by Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, In 46750.
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Le Pape part jeudi pour le Benin
Benoît XVI se rendra en visite officielle en République du Bénin cette semaine, du 18 au 20 novembre 2011.
Le pape, qui se rendra pour la deuxième fois en Afrique, remettra à cette occasion l'exhortation apostolique du Synode pour l’Afrique qui s'est tenu au Vatican en octobre 2009. Ce document, qui est une élaboration du thème du Synode, L'Église en Afrique au service de la réconciliation, de la justice et de la paix, sera un guide pastoral pour l'Église en Afrique pour les prochaines années.
Cette visite de Benoît XVI, dont le caractère est principalement «pastoral », sera aussi l'occasion de célébrer le « Jubilé des 150 ans d’évangélisation au Bénin ».
Dimanche, le saint Père a commenté son voyage en disant, « Chers pèlerins francophones, le Seigneur nous invite aujourd’hui à reconnaître les dons qu’il nous a faits. Il confie à chacun la responsabilité de les faire fructifier pour qu’il soit le sel de la terre et la lumière du monde. Cette parole du Christ a guidé les travaux de la Deuxième Assemblée spéciale pour l’Afrique du Synode des Évêques.
« Je souhaite la donner à tous alors que je vais me rendre au Bénin pour affermir la foi et l’espérance des chrétiens d’Afrique et des Îles adjacentes. Je confie à votre prière ce voyage et les habitants du cher continent africain, particulièrement ceux qui connaissent l’insécurité et la violence.
« Que Notre Dame d’Afrique accompagne et soutienne les efforts de toutes les personnes qui œuvrent pour la réconciliation, la justice et la paix ! Avec ma bénédiction ! »
Le Bénin se dit «honoré» de cette visite et se prépare d'ores et déjà à travailler avec l'Église catholique au Bénin pour «élaborer le programme définitif du séjour» de Benoît XVI.
Benoît XVI effectuera au Bénin son deuxième voyage en Afrique. En mars 2009, il s'était rendu au Cameroun et en Angola.