November 21 – St. Albert

November 19, 2012

St. Albert

Cardinal, Bishop of Liège, died 1192 or 1193.

Archduke Albert kneeling next to his Patron Saint, St. Albert of Louvain by P.P. Rubens.

He was a son of Godfrey III, Count of Louvain, and brother of Henry I, Duke of Lorraine and Brabant, and was chosen Bishop of Liège in 1191 by the suffrages of both people and chapter. The Emperor Henry VI violently intruded his own venal choice into the see, and Albert journeyed to Rome to appeal to Celestine III, who ordained him deacon, created him cardinal, and sent him away with gifts of great value and a letter of recommendation to the Archbishop of Rheims, where he was ordained priest and consecrated bishop. Outside that city, soon after, he was set upon by eight German knights of the Emperor’s following, who took advantage of the confiding kindness of the saintly bishop, and stabbed him to death. The date of his martyrdom is given variously as 24 November, 1193 (Moroni), 23 November, 1192 (Hoefer), while the Bollandists, placing it in the latter year, give 21 November as its precise date, this being also the day on which the saint’s feast is kept. His body reposed at Rheims until 1612, when it was transferred by the Archduke Albert of Austria to the church of the Carmelite convent, which he had just founded at Brussels. The relics of this strenuous defender of ecclesiastical liberty were, by permission of the Holy See, shared with the cathedral of Liège, in 1822.

GILES OF LIEGE, Gesta Episcoporum Leodiensium (Liège, 1613), 134-186; BARONIUS, Annales (Bar-le-duc, 1869), XIX, 640; ROHRBACHER, Histoire de l’Eglise catholique (Paris, 1872), VIII, 671-673.

THOMAS J. SHAHAN (Catholic Encyclopedia)


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