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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109.

Anselm lived in an age when ignorance and raw power often went hand in hand. His life was spent in opposing these enslaving forces, especially in England. He was born of noble Christian parents in Burgundy and educated at the monasteries at St. Leger and Bec in Normandy. He joined the latter community and, after an impressive career as teacher and author, became its abbot. He first visited England at the invitation of William the Conqueror, by whom he was well-loved. His consecration as Archbishop of Canterbury met with overwhelming approval from the English people, who knew him as a wise and compassionate person.

He spent years in this high office attempting to gain a lasting peace in a time of constant feuding. He championed the church's independence from royal authority and was twice exiled by angry kings whose bidding he refused to do.

Anslem was a theologian of the first order. He lectured in Rome, carried on intellectual correspondence with the most brilliant leaders of his day, and wrote a number of books that are still highly regarded among theologians. His most famous book, Cur Deus Homo, was the foremost work on the doctrine of the atonement to come out of the Middle Ages.

O God, continue to enlighten us by the teaching of your servant Anselm.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, you raised up your servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in your eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide your Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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