Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Feast Day - April 21
Anselm, born of noble Catholic parents at Aosta on the borders of Italy, as a young man abandoned his homeland and all his possessions and was professed at the Benedictine monastery of Bec, where he advanced in a most wonderful way in the attainment of learning and virtue. He was held in honor by kings and bishops and was a friend of Gregory VII, at the time much troubled by persecutions, who wrote him letters filled with affection, commending himself and the Church to Anselms prayers. After the death of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury and Anselms former teacher, he was called to rule over that church and, by word and example, by writings and by holding councils, he restored it to its pristine state of piety and ecclesiastical discipline. But, soon after, when King William tried by force and threats to usurp the rights of the Church and Anselm steadfastly resisted, his possessions were confiscated and he himself exiled.
He went to Urban II in Rome, who welcomed him with honor and the highest praise. At the Council of Bari, he defended against the errors of the Greeks the doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son, by countless proofs taken from the Scriptures and the holy Fathers. After King Williams death, his brother Henry recalled Anselm to England, and there he fell asleep in the Lord.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1744-1745.
Epistle and Gospel for April 21