St Anselm. Bishop & Doctor (1033-1109)

St Anselm. Bishop & Doctor (1033-1109)

St Anselm was born in Aosta, north western Italy in 1033. Prior to his religious awakening his was indifferent to religion. At the age of around 30 he entered the Abbey of Bec, Normandy, France and succeeded his fellow countryman Lanfranc as Prior and became Abbot in 1078 at the age of 45.Under his spiritual and intellectual guidance the Abbey at Bec became a monastic school and had much influence due to it’s philosophical and theological studies. St Anselm himself began to publish his theological studies and wrote much on the mystical life.


St Anselm was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury, England in 1093 and defended the church against the temporal powers of his day. This led to his exile twice under King William Rufus and Henry 1. His compassion and concern was evident in his opposition to the slave trade and his warmth towards the poor. Although mild and gentle in nature, he was a man of courage and principle and would defend the Gospel truths vigorously. He died in 1109.

“ No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God”

Catechism of the Catholic Church No 2683

“The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were “put in charge of many things.” Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”

We pray with the Saints. They are our prayer partners and models of how to live a holy life. The Saints can only intercede for us, it is God alone who responds to our prayers and grants, if that indeed is his will. We honour the Saints but do not worship, worship alone belongs to God.

St Anselm. Pray for us

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