Ordinary Time: November 15th
Optional Memorial of St. Albert the Great, bishop, confessor and doctor
Old Calendar: St. Albert the Great; St. Leopold of Austria (Hist)
Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of St. Albert the Great, son of a German nobleman, who was studying at Padua when the Master General of the Dominicans, Jordan of Saxony, succeeded in attracting him to that Order. He was to become one of its greatest glories. After taking his degrees at the University of Paris he taught philosophy and theology at Paris and then in Cologne. St. Thomas Aquinas was among his pupils. His knowledge was encyclopedic. In 1260 he was named Bishop of Ratisbon and devoted himself zealously to the duties of his office. But soon resigned in order to continue his teaching and research. St. Albert died in Cologne on November 15, 1280.St. Leopold of Austria is not on the Universal Roman Calendar but is included in the Roman Martyrology. He was born at Melk in Austria, a grandson of emperor Henry III. In 1096 he succeeded his father as fourth margrave of Austria. He married Agnes, daughter of Henry IV, by whom he had eighteen children. He ruled firmly and successfully for forty years, and was especially interested in the spread of religious institutions. He was the founder of Mariazell (Benedictine), Heiligenkreuz (Cistercian) and Klosternenburg (Augustinian). He was buried in the last mentioned monastery.
St. Albert the Great
Albert, the "light of Germany," called the Great because of his encyclopedic knowledge, was born in 1193 at Lauingen, Donau. He studied at Padua, where under the influence of the second Dominican general, he joined the newly-founded Order of Preachers (1223). Soon he was sent to Germany, taught in various cities, particularly Cologne; Thomas Aquinas was his student. In 1248 he received the honor of Master in Sacred Theology at Paris. Throngs attended his lectures.
- Learn more about St. Albert from the Catholic Encyclopedia, Dominicans.
- St. Albert is an especially apt patron for scientists because he made his love of truth about nature into an instrument of his love of Christ;
- Read what Pope Benedict XVI wrote about science and faith.
St. Leopold of Austria
Born at Melk, Austria, he was educated by Bishop Altman of Passau and succeeded his father as margrave of Austria when he was twenty-three. He married the daughter of Emperor Henry IV, by whom he had eighteen children, in 1106, founded the monasteries of Heiligenkreuz in the Wienerwald, Klosterneuburg, near Vienriazell in Styria, and was known for his piety and charity. He refused the imperial crown when his brother-in-law Henry V died in 1125. Leopold died after reigning as margrave for forty years at Klosterneuburg. He was surnamed "the Good" by his people and was canonized in 1486.
- Prepare a dinner of Austrian Goulash or some other Austrian dish in honor of St. Leopold, or follow Austrian customs of roasting a goose and drinking new wine. See recipes for Martinmas (November 11) and Michaelmas (September 29).
- Learn more about Klosterneuburg Abbey that St. Leopold founded and the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine.
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