01 Mar Saint Albinus, Bishop
Today is the feast day of Saint Albinus. Ora pro nobis.
Saint Albinus was of an ancient and noble family in Brittany, and from his childhood was fervent in every exercise of piety. Saint Fortunatus recorded his life and his acts while he lived, making his story one of the better documented accounts of saintly service and love. While still just a boy, he found himself drawn into the love and Word of God, and declared to his parents his intention to become a monk. While they had other plans for him, his mind was unwavering, and he eventually entered the monastery at Tincilloc.
He ardently sighed after the happiness which a devout soul finds in being disengaged from all earthly things. In brief, he lived as if in all things he were without any will of his own; and his soul seemed so perfectly governed by the spirit of Christ as to live only for Him.
Albinus lived a quite life of service, prayer, contemplation, and hard work. By the time he was 35, he was recognized by his community and chosen Abbot of the monastery. He became renowned for miraculous healings and service and comfort to the poor, but more so for his prayerful and ascetic lifestyle. Those in power sought his counsel and advice, and he found time for everyone—rich and poor, noble or peasant.
Many Christians of his diocese had fallen into slavery through the invasions of the barbarians, and Saint Albinus used every resource available to him for their redemption. To the graces of charity from which his people benefitted, were joined those deriving from his public miracles. He resurrected a young child; and when one of his servants died during his absence, those who carried the man to his grave were unable to lower him until the bishop arrived to give the final benediction. He established and restored measures of ecclesiastical discipline, through the third Council of Orleans, convened through his influence over King Childebert, son of Clovis, who greatly respected his opinions. In brief, he was inflamed with a holy zeal for the glory of God in all aspects of life. Honored by all, he was never affected with vanity.
Albinus railed against injustice, immorality, and lax behavior on the part of the clergy. He fought for the rights of the poor, chastised the noble for immoral lifestyles, and convened councils to develop ecclesiastical codes of conduct.
Saint Albinus died at the age of 80, while visiting those in his community who needed his support. His body is interred in the crypt of Saint-Pierre Church at the abbey which bears his name. Countless miracles have occurred at his tomb, which makes Angers a pilgrimage destination in Europe.
Image: Saint Albino. Colour photogravure, 1898.(4)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff