Saint Albert the Great, Universal Doctor

Universal Doctor, Master of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great knew how to make reasoning an ally in upholding and increasing faith.

Newsroom (November 15, 2021, 14:00PM, Gaudium Press) Around the year 1200, Albert was born in Germany. He came from a noble family in the city of Bollstad. Albert had a promising military career before him. But his interests, and God’s interests above all, had other plans for Albert.

As a young man, Alberto went to Padua to study Liberal Arts. His dedication and passion for studying did not take long to be noticed.

St. Albert’s interests included physics, chemistry, astronomy, mineralogy, botany, and zoology. However, it was undoubtedly philosophy and theology that earned him the title of Magno.

The Dominican Vocation

The young student Albert was still in Italy when he saw the figure of a friar who charmed the crowds with his preaching.

Jordan of Saxony was also from Germany, and he was a successor of St. Dominic of Guzmán.

Sometime before, Mary appeared to Albert and invited him to leave the world. Upon hearing one of Jordan of Saxony’s sermons, Albert did not hesitate and heeded the call to join the Order of Preachers.

Saint Albert the Great took his vows in 1226. In 1228, after completing his studies in the Italian city of Bologna, he was sent to Cologne.

There, the Saint took on the regency of his confreres and discovered his special aptitude for teaching and preaching

The Master and the disciple

His superiors sent him to the great European universities since he was particularly gifted in doctrinal matters.

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It was precisely in Paris, at the Sorbonne, that Albert had one of the most important meetings of his life. Among his disciples was Thomas Aquinas.

Soon, St. Albert realized the treasure of holiness and wisdom contained in the soul of St. Thomas and did not hesitate to defend the disciple who was maliciously nicknamed the “dumb ox.”

During this time, St. Albert became interested in the works of Aristotle and was able to see how reason and faith are in harmony with each other.

Master Albert and his disciple Thomas delighted the Universities of Paris and Cologne. They were laying the philosophical foundations of Catholic doctrine.

The final years before eternity

St. Albert’s virtue and qualities did not go unnoticed. For this reason, he was elected twice in succession provincial of the Dominicans in Germany.

Pope Alexander IV also appointed him bishop of Regensburg. However, after two years at the head of the diocese, St. Albert asked the Pope’s permission to return to teaching and the monastic life.

As he aged, St. Albert chose the isolation of the convent, and a few years before his death, he almost completely lost his memory.

On November 15, 1280, St. Albert died in the Dominican convent of Cologne. In 1931, Pius XI canonized him and proclaimed him Doctor of the Church under the name of Universal Doctor. (FM)

Compiled by Ena Alfaro

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