St Albert the Great (November 15)
St. Albert the Great was born in the castle of Lauingen at Swabie, Germany in 1206. His family was noble and aristocratic, and his father was the Count of Bollstadt. Against his family's wishes, he entered the Dominican Order in 1223. He was one of the great teachers of his time and was an authority on physics, geometry, biology, geography, astronomy and the theological sciences. He taught at Cologne and Paris and had St. Thomas Aquinas, one of his closest associates, as a student. In 1254, Albert was appointed provincial of the Dominicans in Germany. In 1260 he was named Bishop of Regensburg in Germany by Pope Urban IV who hoped Albert would bring reform to that diocese. Discovering that his talents were not in administration, Albert resigned his bishopric and returned to his teaching at Cologne after two years. In the last two years of his life he was gradually deprived of his memory and his mind. He died quietly at Cologne, Germany on November 15, 1280. He is the patron of those who study the natural sciences, and bears the title of Doctor of the Church.