I was delighted to learn about today's saint, since my love of the Carmelite Order began as a young girl (long story) and I further took Teresa of Avila as my patron saint when I was baptized at age 38 by the Episcopalians (again, a long story.) Saint Teresa, a doctor of the church and another Carmelite, was very devoted to Albert of Trapani, and I am surprised that I had not recalled learning anything of him before today. He is one of those saints that had a profound effect on the Church as a whole, as well as the Carmelite Order of which he was a part, but whose public popularity is somewhat dimmed in this country. I do not know why.
Albert degli Abbati was born in Trapani, Sicily in the 13th century. More than one of my sources claims that his parents dedicated him to the Catholic Church prior to his birth. It is also said that his parents were unable to have children for the first 26 years of their marriage, until he was born. There is some evidence that this is a factual account.
A collection of legends that grew up around him appears on the St. Joseph's Carmelite Monastery of Kilmacud website (link at bottom of page.) The oldest biography was written shortly after 1385, a copy of which is preserved in the Vatican, thus we are fairly sure of the basic facts of his life.
Albert was very young when he entered the Carmelite house in Trapani, which was only one of about fifteen friaries in Sicily at that time. Later, he transferred to a house in Messina. His mission was primarily that of preaching to the Sicilian people, and he is known both for his inspired oratory and many miracles and cures, both physical and spiritual, among them exorcisms. He was known in his time as a "wonder worker," and the miraculous healings attributed to his intercession occurred even after his death.
It is said that Albert had many converts among the Jews that lived near Messina and that he also wrote books, but none are extant. He spent some time as the provincial superior at the house in Messina, as late as 1297, but lived as a hermit for the last few years of his life, until his death in 1307. By about 1317, his relics were "translated" and there are pieces of that saint all over the place, mostly in Sicily. Trapani has his skull. In Sicily there are many reminders of the Saint's life. In Agrigento is a well, the waters of which were purified by the saint.
In the 16th Century, it was established that every Carmelite Church should have an altar dedicated to him.
Ancient Prayer for healing attributed to Saint Albert:
"O my God, you have created the human race by your wonderful power. It is an act of your clemency that has called us to share your glory and eternal life. When the first sin condemned us to suffer death, out of your goodness you wished to redeem us through the blood of your Son, to unite us to you through our faith and your great mercy. You have brought us back from the shame of your sign; you have veiled our dishonour in the brightness of your glory. Look now and see that what you have created, giving it subtle limbs and joints and made beautiful through its immortal soul, is now subject to the attack of Satan. Be pleased Lord to reconstitute your work and heal it. May your power be glorified and may the malice of the enemy be stunned."
"Lord God, you made Saint Albert of Trapani a
model of purity and prayer, and a devoted
servant of Our Lady. May we practice these
same virtues and so be worthy always to share
the banquet of your grace. Grant this through
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holly Spirit, one
God, forever and ever."
The propers for the Carmelite Office of Blesseds and Saints can be found HERE, if you would like to include those in today's prayers.
Having learned a bit about this saint, I plan to add him to my personal "committee" of intercessors I call upon for help. Perhaps he can help you also. This blog represents a slight sketch about Saint Albert. If it has piqued your curiosity, please refer to the source links I have included below my by-line.
In the meantime, please pray for me as I pray for you.
Silver "Rose" Parnell
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ST. JOSEPH'S CARMELITE MONASTERY, KILMACUD
ALBERT OF TRAPANI: a saint of yesterday for today Giovanni Grosso, O.Carm. translated by Paul Chandler, O.Carm.
ORDER OF THE BROTHERS OF THE MOST VIRGIN MARY OF CARMEL
MEDITATIONS FROM CARMEL