St. Anselm of Canterbury

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Anselm of Canterbury.
Anselm was born in the year 1033 in Aosta, Italy. His dear Mother taught him to love God very much, and this never would leave him his whole life. At age 15 he wanted to join a monastery, but his father forbid it, so he turned to a worldly life.
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His mother having died, Anselm walked on a bad path for some time; in later life he would never cease to repent of those days. He went to France, and applied his brilliant mind to his studies, but at the age of 27, the call of the monastery returned to him; he entered the monastery at Bec, France. 3 years later, he was named the prior of Bec!
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Because he was so young, out of envy, many monks complained. One monk named Osbern was a bitter opponent of Anslem; but Anselm took a kind interest in him, and guided him from his lazy ways to become a very disciplined monk. Patience and gentleness eventually won them all over.
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Making many visits to the monastery in England, Anselm would have a long series of run-ins with the King who did everything in his power to oppose his work. But Anselm eventually was named the Archbishop of Canterbury.
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He was the greatest theologian of his age, a Doctor of the Church. He wrote many things, but his most famous is on the Incarnation, ‘Why God became Man.’ Although he was brilliant, it was not his brain that made him a saint, it was his heart.
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He had a kind charm about himself and a method of his own for teaching even the most simple persons. He was always trying to see God in every event of the day; once, as he was riding his horse, a rabbit, being chased by dogs, ran under his horse for safety; the dogs, who were with hunters, stayed back from the horse. He said to the hunters, ‘This rabbit reminds me of the poor sinner who is near death, and is surrounded by the devils.’ He then ordered the dogs to stay put, while the rabbit ran off.
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St. Anselm built up goodness wherever he went; once, he saw a boy who had tied a string to a bird’s leg and was stopping it from flying; Anselm didn’t like it, so he cut the string; and as it was often told, ‘the bird flew, the boy howled, and the priest rejoiced!

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