April 21 - Saint Anselm of Canterbury

Quick Facts
  • Italian nobility.
  • After a childhood devoted to piety and study, Anselm wanted to enter religious life, but his father prevented it, and Anselm became rather wordly for several years.
  • Upon his mother's death, Anselm argued with his father, fled to France, and became a Benedictine monk at Bec, Normandy.
  • Studied under and succeeded Lanfranc as abbot.Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Theological writer.
  • Counselor to Pope Gregory VII, Pope Urban II, and William the Conqueror.
  • Opposed slavery and obtained English legislation prohibiting the sale of men.
  • Fought King William Rufus's encroachment on ecclesiastical rights and the independence of the Church, and was exiled.
  • Resolved theological doubts of the Italo-Greek bishops at Council of Bari in 1098.
  • Strongly supported celebate clergy.
  • King Henry I invited him to return to England, but they disputed over investitures, and Anselm was exiled again to return in 1106.
  • One of the great philosophers and theologians of the middle ages.
  • Doctor of the Church in 1720 by Pope Clement XI.