Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Anselm, Feast Day April 21

St. Anselm
St. Anselm


The feast day of St. Anselm is celebrated on April 21.

St. Anselm was born in 1033 near Aosta . At the age of 15 Anselm wanted to enter a monastery but his father opposed the idea. For a time, he lost interest in religion, but at the age of 27 he finally entered the Monastery of Bec in Normandy. Fifteen years later he became the abbot of the Benedictine monastery.

In 1093 he became the Archbishop of Canterbury. England’s King William Rufus refused to cooperate with his efforts to reform the Church. When the king became very ill St. Anselm became his confessor. However, after he recovered his health matters worsened and St. Anselm went into exile until the death of the King in 1100. The successor, King Henry I, recalled Anselm. St. Anselm fearlessly disagreed with King Henry over the King’s insistence on investing England’s bishops. St. Anselm went into exile for three more years.

St. Anselm opposed the slave trade and worked for the poorest people. He persuaded the national council of Westminster to prohibit the sale of human beings. He was admired for his patience and his teaching ability.   St. Anselm published theological works. The most well known is Cur Deus Humo  (Why God became Man).

St. Anselm died in the year 1109. St. Anselm was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1720 by Pope Clement XI.

For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.  For this also I believe…that unless I believed,  I should not understand.


Quote of St. Anselm of Canterbury


April is the Month of the Eucharist.





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