Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Four Missed Saints

This may end up being a long post, but I decided to include the four saints whose feast days I missed in one post. Here goes...

St. Albert the Great

(c. 1206-80) Born to an aristocratic family, he decided to become a Dominican after studying at the University of Padua, despite family opposition. After teaching in numerous places, he returned to Cologne with a reputation for great learning and intellect. He received his doctorate at the University of Paris in 1245, and was then named regent of the studia generalia at Cologne. One of his students who later became one of his close friends was Thomas Aquinas. He later served as theologian to the Pope before resigning to devote himself to study. He was appointed Bishop of Regensburg against his wishes, and after two years resigned. He worked for the reunion of the Greek Church with Rome, and also attempted to reconcile Aristotelianism to Christianity. He was "one of the first and among the greatest of natural scientists". He had great knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geography. One of his treatises proved the earth to be round. He was also a student of Arabic learning and culture, and because of his brilliance, he was called "the Universal Doctor" by his contemporaries. Some of his works include Summa theologiae, De unitate intellectus contra Averrem, De vegetabilibus, and Summa de creaturis.

St. Margaret of Scotland
(1045-93) She was the daughter of the exiled Prince Edward d'Outremer and a German princess. Because of her father's exile, she was raised at Stephen's court. At the age of twelve she was brought to the court of King Edward the Confessor, but was soon forced to flee England with her family after the Battle of Hastings. Her and her family were given refuge by King Malcolm III of Scotland, whom she would later marry. She was very prayerful, and had great concern for the poor and needy. She also supported synods to right abuses within the church such as simony and usury, regulated degrees of relationship in marriage, and set regulations for Lenten fast and Easter Communion. She also supported arts and education, and worked alongside Malcolm to found Holy Trinity Church at Dunfermline. She is the patroness of Scotland.

St. Gertrude
(c. 1256-1302) She was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Helfta in Saxony when she was five where she became a pupil and friend of St. Mechtile. She later became a nun and at twenty-six she had her first of many visions of Christ. She recorded her experiences and Mechtilde's experiences which later appeared in her Book of Extraordinary Grace (Revelation of St. Gertrude). She also helped write a book of prayers and helped spread the devotion of the Sacred Heart.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary
(1207-31) At the age of four she was brought to the court of Landgrave Herman I of Thuringia. She was married to his son Ludwig when he became Landgrave and she bore four children. They were seen as the ideal couple. She had great charity and eventually had two hospitals built at the foot of her castle. When Ludwig died of the plague during a crusade, she was heartbroken. She was accused of mismanaging the estate because of her great charity, and forced out by her brother-in-law. She became a Franciscan tertiary and devoted herself to caring for the poor and sick. She led a life of exceptional poverty and humility until she was allowed back to the castle, because her son was recognized as the successor to the title of landgrave. She died at the age of twenty-four, and miracles were soon reported at her tomb.

Photo Credits: Catholic Culture
All information from John J. Delaney's Pocket Dictionary of Saints


Lisa@UnexpectedJourney said...

Thanks for the info on St. Elizabeth of Hungary. My husband's heritage is Hungarian, so she can be a patron saint for our family!

Cmerie said...

You're welcome! I had never heard of her before. I was especially intrigued when the book made the comment about them being the ideal couple. Perhaps we could ask her to pray for us married folk!