Sunday, February 8, 2009

St. Albert of Sicily

Next we have St. Albert of Sicily (AKA Albert of Trapani).

Feast Day: August 7
Died: 1306

He was educated in a Carmelite monastery, and joined the Order at age 18. He became a priest and teacher in the monastery. He was a mendicant* preacher to the Sicilians, making many conversions; especially devoted to, and successful with, Sicilian Jews. He was a miracle worker. Sicilian Carmelite provincial in 1257, and worked both as preacher and administrator.

In 1301, the city of Messina was under siege and blockade by Duke Robert of Calabria. Disease ridden and facing imminent starvation, the Messina city fathers asked Albert and the monstery for intervention. Albert celebrated Mass, offering it as a plea for God's deliverance. As he finished, three ships loaded with grain ran the blockade. The city was saved from starvation, and Robert lifted the seige. Albert was so well remembered for this intervention that a city gate was dedicated in his honor over 300 years later.

In his later years, Albert retired to a small monastery near Messina, and spent his time in prayer, meditation, and communion.

Patron of Trapani (his birthplace), Carmelite orders, Carmelite schools.

*Mendicants "do not own property, either individually or collectively, and have taken a vow of poverty, in order that all their time and energy could be expended on practicing or preaching their religion or way of life and serving the poor."

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