St Anselm – 21 April

The Archbishop of Canterbury was recently in the news, as revelations were made about his paternity. His response was very measured and kind, but also showed his deep Christian convictions. Next Thursday we celebrate the feast of St. Anslem, who a thousand years ago occupied the same See.

Anselm too had his troubles, but like Archbishop Welby, his trust in Christ was made manifest. He was born around the year 1033. He became a monk at the famous abbey of Bec in Normandy, becoming Abbot in 1078. He wrote a number of theological and philosophical works about faith and reason. In 1093 he became Archbishop of Canterbury.

Because he was keen to defend the honour and independence of the Church he did not endear himself to the kings he had to deal with, and several times he was forced into exile.

What comes across in Anselm’s writings are a razor sharp mind wrapped in sensitivity and kindness. He was much loved by his monks and the ordinary people. He was keen, for instance, to abolish slavery which still existed in England at that time.

Let us pray to St. Anslem for those same gifts: absolute commitment to the truth, courage to stand up for it, but also the love to put it into practice.

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