Saint Albert of Louvain

[Saint Albert of Louvain]
Also known as

  • Albert of Leuven
  • Albert of Liege
  • Alberto di Lovanio
  • Albrecht of….

Memorial

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Son of Duke Godfrey III of Brabant. Made a canon of Liege, Belgium at age 12, a political appointment for guaranteed income rather than a religious vocation. He gave up the position at age 21 to become a knight under Count Baldwin V of Hainault, a bitter enemy of his native Brabant. He talked of going on Crusade, but never did, and eventually realized that religious life was calling him. He became a canon of Liege again, this time as a true vocation.

Archdeacon and provost of Brabant. Bishop of Liege in 1191. Albert of Rethel, cousin of Count Baldwin and uncle of the Empress Constance, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, had sought the episcopacy. He appealed to the emperor for help; Henry removed Albert from the position and made a third candidate, Lothaire, who was the provost of Bonn, Germany, the new bishop of Liege. Albert then appealed to the Vatican, both for himself and to help clearly establish the Pope‘s supremacy in the matter. Celestine III declared Albert’s election valid, and returned him to Liege. Lothair refused to surrender the see; Henry backed him, and forced the priests in the diocese to submit to Lothair.

Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, Germany was supposed to ordain Albert, but refused, fearing the emperor. William, archbishop of Rheims, France, ordained Albert as priest, and then as bishop. In an attempt to end the matter in the emperor’s favour, a group of Henry’s knights ambushed and murdered Albert on the road outside Rheims. The plan backfired, however, as Lothair was excommunicated and exiled, and Henry was forced to submit to Rome and do penance; lay investiture (civil control over ordinations) took another serious blow.

Born

Died

Canonized

Representation

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Albert of Louvain“. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 February 2014. Web. 22 September 2014. <>