Easter: April 21st
Optional Memorial of St. Anselm, bishop & doctor
Old Calendar: St. Anselm
St. Anselm (1033-1109) was born in Aosta, Italy, and died in Canterbuy, England. St. Anselm's services to the Church are principally the following: First, as Archbishop of Canterbury he defended the rights and liberties of the Church against the encroachments of the English kings, who plundered the Church's lands, impeded the Archbishop's communications with the Holy See, and claimed the right to invest prelates with ring and crosier, symbols of the Church's spiritual jurisdiction. Second, as a philosopher and theologian he developed a method of reasoning which prepared the way for the great thinkers of the Middle Ages. Third, he had a great devotion to Our Lady and was the first to establish the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the West.
As prior and abbot, Anselm made the Benedictine monastery of Bec the center of a true reformation in Normandy and England. From this monastery he exercised a restraining influence on popes, kings, the worldly great, and entire religious orders. Raised to the dignity of Archbishop of Canterbury and primate of England, he waged a heroic campaign in defense of the rights and liberties of the Church. As a result he was deprived of goods and position and finally banned from the country. He journeyed to Rome, and at the Council of Bari supported Pope Urban II against the errors of the Greeks. His writings bear eloquent testimony to his moral stature and learning, and have earned for him the title of "Father of Scholasticism."— The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
- Learn more about St. Anselm and his works at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- You can find the works of St. Anselm at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, click on Anselm
- Those who are truly ambitious might tackle this 2 volume set by Martin Rule published in 1883: The life and times of St. Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Britains, Vol. 1 and Vol 2.