Saints to Live By: St. Anselm
April 15, 2023
St. Anselm | Feast Day April 21
Saints to Live By:
St. Anselm of Canterbury left his home in Italy to travel as a young man and ended up at the monastery in Bec, France, which was known for the teachings of its leader, Lanfranc. Anselm rose quickly to become abbot of the community and his writings are now compared in importance to those of St. Augustine.
In 1093 Anselm was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by William II Rufus, the son and successor of William the Conqueror. However, at the time there was a controversy in Europe over whether kings or the pope had the power to invest bishops. Anselm, who believed only the pope should have the right to invest an ecclesiastical authority, spent much of his time as Archbishop exiled in Rome.
St. Anselm’s teaching and works of theology are his most important contribution to the Catholic faith. He is considered of the fathers of scholastic theology and his chief achievement in philosophy was the ontological argument for the existence of God. His work Cur Deus homo? taught that atonement for sins could only be achieved through Christ. He was canonized in 1494 and named a Doctor of the Church in 1720.