Memorial of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

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St. Anselm's illuminated manuscript

On April 13, we kept the memorial of Pope St. Martin I, who stood up to the emperor, and died for his faith. Today we recall with his thanksgiving one of Martin’s worthy successors, Anselm, bishop and doctor of the church (1033-1109), who, hundreds of years later and many miles away from Martin’s home, showed the same faith and courage.

Anselm was happy as the prior of a Benedictine monastery, when, at the then advanced age of 60, he was named Archbishop of Canterbury. The king wanted a puppet in Canterbury, but Anselm stood firm in faith, even when he was sent into exile. He often stood alone, as other bishops sought the king’s favor.

Anselm was an opponent of slavery and he worked hard for a law, successfully passed, banning the sale of human beings in England. He helped the poor and spoke out against their mistreatment.

In the midst of all this holy work, Anselm wrote. Consider reading either of these two volumes published by the Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Devotions of St. Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury or St. Anselm’s Book of Meditations and Prayers.

Pray with St. Anselm this Easter.

Catholic meditation