Saint Albert The Great

St. Albert the Great (1206-1280) was born in Bavaria, Germany, the eldest son of a powerful military count. As a youth he was sent to study at the University of Padua where he encountered and entered the newly-founded Dominican order as a mendicant friar, forsaking his inheritance against his family's wishes. He was the first Dominican to earn a Master of Theology degree and was sent as a lecturer to the University of Paris (which at that time was the intellectual center of Europe) before launching a Dominican house of studies in Cologne. He introduced the works of Aristotle to western thought which allowed his most brilliant student, St. Thomas Aquinas, to synthesize the Catholic faith with human reason, that is, the truths established through philosophy. St. Albert the Great was a renowned scholar and a pioneer in the field of natural science, keeping his own laboratory for scientific experiments. He is known as one of the greatest thinkers of his day, called by his contemporaries "the teacher of everything there is to know" for writing an encyclopedia of all human knowledge up to that point in history. St. Albert the Great was also one of the most famous preachers of his day and served as the papal theologian in Rome. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. St. Albert the Great is the patron saint of scientists and philosophers. His feast day is November 15th.
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