Thursday, September 17, 2020

17 September -- St Albert the Lawgiver

In  the brand new (as of last July) calendar of the Discalced Carmelite Order, today is the feast of St Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem who wrote the original Rule of the Carmelite Order.  He  was stabbed to death on September 14, 1214 during a liturgical procession in Acre by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit whom he had dismissed for his licentious life. The old Catholic Encyclopædia tells his life here.

 The good old Catholic Encyclopædia ends with this "curious anomaly":

The Bollandists call attention to this curious anomaly, that not at Vercelli, where he was Patriarch, not among the Canons Regular, to whom he properly belonged, but in the Order of the Carmelites, of which he was not a member, does he receive the honour of a saint. "That holy Order could not and ought not to lose the memory of him by whom it was ranked among the Orders approved by the Roman Church; in saying which", adds the writer, "I in no way wish to impugn the Carmelite claim of descent from Elias." At Vercelli Albert does not even figure as Blessed, and the Canons Regular honour him as a saint, but pay him no public cult.

The old collect, translation taken from "Saints of Carmel, Proper Offices of the Saints Granted to the Barefooted Carmelites", (1896):

O Lord! let the fullness of  Thy blessing come down upon us in abundant showers; and mayest Thou be ever appeased by the prayers of St Albert, Thy confessor and Pontiff.  Through our Lord.  Amen.

The modern one has some beautiful thoughts but, as so often in hoc sæculo, strains to present them in the most pedestrian fashion possible:

Lord God, through St Albert of Jerusalem You have given us a Rule of Life according to Your Gospel, to help us attain perfect love.  Through his prayers may we always live in allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve faithfully until death Him Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen


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