Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Albert the Great

Albert Magnus, also known as Albert the Great and "the teacher of everything there is to know" can be characterized as a "renaissance man" even before there was such a word. He was a grand thinker, prolific writer and distinguished philosopher during the period of the Middle Ages. One of his pupils was another brilliant mind, St. Thomas Aquinas. The topics that were influenced by Magnus are incredibly diverse and include psychology, logic, metaphysics, meteorology, mineralogy and zoology.

The works of Albert Magnus are a hand cramping 31 volumes. His life's work was to translate Latin and Arabian manuscripts and notes of the great philosopher Aristotle. Most of Aristotle's teachings have been preserved to this day because of the judicious efforts of Magnus. His writings are revered because of their exact scientific knowledge.

While studying at the University of Padua, Magnus reportedly had an encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary who persuaded him to join the Holy Orders (individuals ordained for a special role or ministry). In 1254 he was named provincial of the Dominican order and 1260 the Bishop of Regensberg. In 1622 Magnus was beatified and in 1931 was canonized by Pope Pius XI and joined the illustrious rank of saint.

Albert Magnus's experiments are surprisingly accurate considering the era in which he lived. He knew a little about everything but was an expert in the works of Aristotle. His discoveries included the elements arsenic and silver nitrate (a precursor to many other silver compounds, such as those used in photography). Magnus was fan of alchemy and astrology, and there are many books to his credit on the subject. The philosopher's stone (a legendary substance that was capable of turning base metals, especially lead, into gold). It can also be thought of as a fountain of youth, as it has rejuvenating properties and can lead to eternal life.

There are several institutions of education that bear the name of Albert Magnus. One in particular is the Albert Magnus College established in 1925, and located in New Haven, CT. Also, a high school in New York, the main science building at Providence College and the Albert Magnus International Institute (a business and economic development research center) are but a few that bear the name of the prominent saint.

It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for "God is Charity" (1John 4:8) -- St. Albert the Great

See Albert the Great.com HERE

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