St. Anselm's union of holiness of life, divine and human learning, and political and social conscience in the service of God and humanity, make him a fitting patron of the St. Anselm institute.
St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Archbishop and Doctor of the Church
Born in Aosta in Northern Italy in 1033, St. Anselm entered the Norman monastery at Bec in 1060.
After being elected abbot, Anselm became the most celebrated theologian and spiritual guide of his age. His theological and philosophical treatises and letters of spiritual friendship all reflect the motto Fides Quaerens Intellectum--Faith Seeking Understanding.
His desire to show the complementarity of reason and faith bore fruit in his Proslogion, a treatise in which he formulated an ontological argument for the existence of God that continues to fascinate philosophers to this day. His letters, written in a graceful literary style that made them a model for generations of writers, reveal a warm and generous personality.
As Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm was an active pastor and reformer. He defended the English church against royal control and oppression, for which he was twice exiled by the king. In 1102 he presided over the first church council to outlaw the slave trade. During his exiles, St. Anselm continued to write, producing Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became Man), the most famous medieval interpretation of the Incarnation.
His union of holiness of life, divine and human learning, and political and social conscience in the service of God and humanity, make him a fitting patron of the St. Anselm institute.
His feast day is April 21.