Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Saint Anselm. Archbishop Of Canterbury (1093-1109). Feast Day 21 April.

The following Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Saint Anselm.
   Bishop, Confessor and Doctor.
   Feast Day 21 April.


White Vestments.

Saint Anselm. Archbishop of Canterbury.
Depicted in a 19th-Century, English, Stained-Glass Window.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

A native of Aosta (Italy) and a Monk of Bec Abbey, Normandy, Saint Anselm became its Abbot and, later, Archbishop of Canterbury (Communion). "Filled with Divine Wisdom" (Introit) and endowed with superior talents, he endeavoured to develop the science of God by a rational method, which cleared the way for Scholastic Theologians.

"I do not try to understand in order to believe", he declared, "but I believe in order to understand". Thereby, he realised the saying of the Gospel: "You are the Light of The World" and The Church has awarded him the Title of Doctor.

"A hero for Doctrine and Virtue", declares Pope Urban II, "he was equally intrepid in fighting for The Faith". Like a courageous Pastor, he defended "in Season and out of Season" (Epistle), against the ambitious tyranny of William Rufus, the Sacred Liberty which Jesus had bought for His flock with His Blood.

"Christ", he affirms, "loves nothing so much in this World as the liberty of His Church".

Saint Anselm died at the age of seventy-three on 21 April 1109.

Let us honour Saint Anselm "so that he, who was a Doctor of Truth on Earth, may intercede for us in Heaven" (Collect).

Mass: In medio.

The following Text is taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint Anselm of Canterbury (circa  1033 - 21 April 1109), so-called "Anselm of Aosta", after his birthplace, and "Anselm of Bec", after his Monastery, was a Benedictine Monk, Philosopher , and Prelate of The Church, who held the Office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the Founder of Scholasticism, he has been a major influence in Western Theology and is famous as the originator of the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God and the Satisfaction Theory of Atonement .

He entered the Benedictine Order at the Abbey of Bec, Normandy, France, in 1060, at the age of twenty-seven, where he became Abbot in 1079. He became Archbishop of Canterbury, under William II of England . He was exiled from England from 1097 to 1100 and, again, from 1105 to 1107 (under Henry I of England), as a result of the Investiture Controversy, the most significant conflict between Church and State in Mediaeval Europe. Anselm was proclaimed a Doctor of The Church, in 1720, by a Papal Bull of Pope Clement XI. His Feast Day is 21 April.

The Great Seal of Anselm of Canterbury, from A. P. Stanely's Historical Memorials of Canterbury.
Date: 10 September 2012.
Source: This File was derived from: Anselm of Canterbury, seal.jpg
Author:Anselm_of_Canterbury,_seal.jpg: The original uploader was Srnec at English Wikipedia.
Derivative work: MLWatts.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Anselm was born in Aosta, in the Kingdom of Arles, around 1033. His family was related, by blood, to the ascendant House of Savoy and owned considerable property. His parents were from a noble lineage. His father, Gundulf, was by birth a Lombard. His mother, Ermenberga, was related to Otto, Count of Savoy.

At the age of fifteen, Anselm desired to enter a Monastery, but could not obtain his father's consent, and so the Abbot refused him. Disappointment brought on apparent psychosomatic illness. After recovery, he gave up his studies and lived a carefree life. During this period, his mother died. When he was twenty-three, Anselm left home, crossed the Alps and wandered through Burgundy and France.

Attracted by the fame of his countryman, Lanfranc (then Prior of the Benedictine Abbey of Bec), Anselm arrived in Normandy in 1059. The following year, after some time at Avranches, he entered the Abbey as a Novice at the age of twenty-seven, submitting himself to The Rule of Saint Benedict, which reshaped his thoughts over the next decade.

In 1063, Lanfranc was made Abbot of Caen, and Anselm was elected Prior of the Abbey of Bec, an Office he held for fifteen years, before he became Abbot at the death of Herluin, the Abbey's Founder, in 1078. He was Consecrated Abbot, on 22 February 1079, by the Bishop of Évreux. This Consecration was rushed, because, at the time, the Archdiocese of Rouen (wherein Bec lay) was sede vacante (vacant). Had Anselm been Consecrated by the Archbishop of Rouen, he would have been under pressure to profess obedience to him, which would compromise Bec's independence.

12th-Century Illumination from The Meditations of Saint Anselm.
Current location: Bodleian Library, Oxford, England.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Under Anselm's jurisdiction, Bec became the foremost Seat of Learning in Europe, attracting Students from France, Italy and elsewhere. It was during his time at Bec that he wrote his first works of Philosophy, the "Monologion" (1076) and the "Proslogion" (1077–1078). These were followed by "The Dialogues on Truth", "Free Will", and "Fall of the Devil". During his time at Bec, Anselm worked to maintain its freedom from Lay, and Archiepiscopal, control. Later in his Abbacy, Anselm worked to ensure Bec's independence from Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, and from the Archbishop of Rouen.

Anselm occasionally visited England to see the Abbey's property there, as well as to visit Lanfranc, who, in 1070, had been installed as Archbishop of Canterbury. He made a good impression while there, and was the natural successor to Lanfranc as Archbishop.

Upon Lanfranc's death in 1089, however, William II of England seized the possessions and revenues of the See, and made no new appointment. In 1092, at the invitation of Hugh d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester, Anselm crossed to England. He was detained there by business for nearly four months and then refused permission to return to Bec by the King. The latter suddenly fell seriously ill at Alveston, the following year, and spurred on by his wish to make amends for his sinful behaviour, which he believed had caused his illness, he allowed the nomination of Anselm to the vacant See, on 6 March 1093.

Over the course of the following months, Anselm tried to refuse, on the grounds of age and ill-health. On 24 August 1093, Anselm gave William the conditions under which he would accept the See, which amounted to an Agenda of: The Gregorian Reform; that William return the See's land which he had seized; that William accept the pre-eminence of Anselm's Spiritual Counsel; and that William acknowledge Pope Urban II as Pope (in opposition to Anti-Pope Clement III).

Alumni Hall, Saint Anselm College, Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States of America.
Photo: 6 January 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ericci8996.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Anselm's professions of refusal aided his bargaining position as he discussed terms with William. William was exceedingly reluctant to accept these conditions; he would only grant the first condition. A few days after, William tried to rescind even this; he suspended the preparations for Anselm's Investiture. Under public pressure, William was forced to carry out the Appointment. In the end, Anselm and William settled on the return of Canterbury's lands as the only concession from William.

Finally, the English Bishops thrust the Crozier into his hands and took him to the Church to be Inducted. He did homage to William, and, on 25 September 1093, he received the lands of the See and was Enthroned, after obtaining dispensation from his duties in Normandy. He was Consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on 4 December 1093.

It has been argued whether or not Anselm's reluctance to take the See was sincere. Scholars, such as Southern, maintain that his preference would have been to stay at Bec. However, reluctance to accept important Ecclesiastical positions was a Mediaeval trope. Vaughn states that Anselm could not have expressed a desire for the position, because he would be regarded as an ambitious careerist. movement.

One of Anselm's first conflicts with William came the very month he was Consecrated. William was preparing to fight his elder brother, Robert II, Duke of Normandy, and needed funds for doing so. Anselm was among those expected to pay him, and he offered £500. William refused the offer, insisting on a greater sum. Later, a group of Bishops suggested that William might now settle for the original sum, but Anselm told them he had already given the money to the poor. In this episode, Anselm was careful, and managed to both avoid charges of Simony and be generous.

English: Saint Anselm Church, Saint-Anselme, Quebec, Canada.
Français: Église Saint-Anselme, Saint-Anselme, Québec, Canada.
Photo: 23 June 2013,
Source: Own work.
Author: Bernard Gagnon.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Anselm continued to agitate for reform and the interests of Canterbury. His vision of The Church was one of a Universal Church with its own internal authority, which countered William's vision of Royal control over both Church and State. Consequently, he has been viewed alternatively as a contemplative Monastic or as a man politically engaged, committed to maintaining the privileges of the Episcopal See of Canterbury.

The Church's rule stated that Metropolitans could not be Consecrated without receiving the Pallium from the hands of the Pope. Anselm, accordingly, insisted that he must proceed to Rome to receive the Pallium, but William would not permit it. The Anti-Pope Clement was disputing the authority of Pope Urban II, who had been recognised by France and Normandy. It does not appear that the English King was a partisan of the Anti-Pope, but he wished to strengthen his own position by asserting his right to decide between the rival claimants.

Hence, when Anselm asked leave to go to the Pope, the King said that no-one in England should acknowledge either Pope till he, the King, had decided the matter. On 25 February 1095, the Bishops and Nobles of England held a Council at Rockingham to discuss the issue. The Bishops sided with the King, with William de St-Calais, the Bishop of Durham, even advising William to depose Anselm. The Nobles chose Anselm's position, and the Conference ended in deadlock.

Immediately following this, William sent secret messengers to Rome. They prevailed on Pope Urban to send a Legate (Walter of Albano) to the King bearing the Archiepiscopal Pallium. Walter and William then negotiated in secret. William agreed to acknowledge Urban as Pope, and secured the right to give permission before Clerics could receive and obey Papal Letters; Walter, negotiating for Pope Urban, conceded that Urban would send no Legates without William's invitation.

English: Chester Cathedral, England. Stained-Glass Window (1916)
depicting Saint Anselm of Canterbury (detail). Refectory: East Window.
Deutsch: Chester (England). Kathedrale: Refektorium - Ostfenster (1916):
Heiliger Anselm von Canterbury (Detail).
Photo: 13 July 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Wolfgang Sauber.
(Wikimedia Commons)

William's greatest desire was that Anselm be deposed and another given the Pallium. Walter said that "there was good reason to expect a successful issue in accordance with the King's wishes". William then openly acknowledged Urban as Pope, but Walter refused to depose Anselm. William then tried to extract money from Anselm for the Pallium, and was refused. William also tried to personally hand over the Pallium to Anselm, and was refused again. He compromised, and Anselm took the Pallium from the Altar at Canterbury on 10 June 1095.

Over the next two years, no overt dispute between Anselm and William is known. However, William blocked Anselm's efforts at Church Reform. The issues came to a head in 1097, after William put down a Welsh Rebellion. He charged Anselm with having given him insufficient Knights for the Campaign and tried to fine him. Anselm resolved to proceed to Rome and seek the Counsel of The Pope, because William had refused to fulfill his promise of Church Reform, but William denied him permission. The negotiations ended with William declaring that, if Anselm left, he would take back the See, and never again receive Anselm as Archbishop. If Anselm were to stay, William would fine him and force him to swear never again to appeal to Rome: "Anselm was given the choice of Exile or total submission."

As an Exile, in October 1097, Anselm set out for Rome. William immediately seized the revenues of the See and retained them until his death, though Anselm retained the Archbishopric. Anselm went into Exile to defend his vision of the Universal Church, displaying William's sins against that vision. Though he had done homage to William, Anselm qualified that homage by his higher duty towards God and the Papacy.

Anselm was received with high honour by Pope Urban at the Siege of Capua, where he garnered high praise from the Saracen Troops of Count Roger I of Sicily. At a large Provincial Council, held at Bari, Italy, in 1098, which 183 Bishops attended, Anselm was asked to defend, against representatives of the Greek Church, the Filioque and the practice of using Unleavened Bread for the Eucharist. In 1099, Pope Urban renewed the Ban on Lay Investiture and on Clerics doing homage. That year Anselm moved to Lyon.

The Meeting of The Countess Matilda and Anselm of Canterbury in the Presence of Pope Urban II.
Date: 1637-1642.
Artist: Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610-1662).
(Wikimedia Commons)

William was killed on 2 August 1100. His successor, Henry I of England, invited Anselm to return, writing that he committed himself to be counselled by Anselm. Henry was courting Anselm because he needed his support for the security of his claim to the Throne; Anselm could have thrown his support behind Henry's elder brother, instead. When Anselm returned, Henry requested that Anselm do him homage for the Canterbury Estates and receive from him Investiture in his Office of Archbishop. The Papacy had recently banned Clerics doing homage to Laymen, as well as banning Lay Investiture. Thus started Anselm's conflicts with Henry.

Henry refused to relinquish the privilege possessed by his predecessors, and proposed that the matter be laid before the Pope. Two Embassies were sent to Pope Paschal II, regarding the legitimacy of Henry's Investiture, but Paschal reaffirmed the Papal rule on both occasions. In the meantime, Anselm did work with Henry. Henry was threatened with invasion by his brother, Robert Curthose, and Anselm publicly supported Henry, wooing the wavering Barons and threatening Curthose with Excommunication.

At Michaelmas, 1102, Anselm held a Council in London, in which he prohibited marriage and concubinage to those in Holy Orders (as well as condemning Simony and reforming regulations on Clerical Dress and sobriety). He was among the first to take a public stand against The Slave Trade. In 1102, at a Church Council in Saint Peter's Church, Westminster, he obtained the passage of a Resolution against the practice of selling men like cattle.

For his part, Henry granted Anselm authority over all the Church in England, and agreed to obey the Papacy. However, because Paschal had reaffirmed the Papal Rules on Lay Investiture and homage, Henry turned once more against Anselm. In 1103, Anselm, and an Envoy from the King (William Warelwast), set out for Rome, Paschal Excommunicated the Bishops whom Henry had Invested.

English: Illuminated Initial from Saint Anselm's "Monologion", Late-11th-Century.
Preserved at The Bibliothèque Municipale de Rouen, France.
Italiano: Iniziale miniata da un manoscritto della fine dell'XI secolo del
Monologion di Anselmo d'Aosta. Conservato presso la Bibliothèque municipale de Rouen.
Source: Anselm of Canterbury's "Monologion",
Manuscripted by Hugo Pictor, Jumièges Scriptorium, Late-11th-Century.
Author: Hugo Pictor.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Anselm withdrew to Lyon, after this Ruling, and awaited further action from Pope Paschal. On 26 March 1105, Paschal Excommunicated Henry's Chief Advisor (Robert of Meulan) for urging Henry to continue Lay Investiture, as well as Prelates Invested by Henry and other Counselors, and threatened Henry with the same. In April 1105, Anselm threatened to Excommunicate Henry himself, probably to force Henry's hand in their negotiations.

In response, Henry arranged a Meeting with Anselm, and they managed a compromise at Laigle, Normandy, on 22 July 1105. Part of the agreement was that Robert of Meulan's (and his associates') Excommunication be lifted (given that they Counsel the King to obey the Papacy). Anselm agreed to lift the Excommunications on his own authority, an act which he later had to justify to Pope Paschal. Other conditions of the agreement were: Henry would forsake Lay Investiture, if Anselm obtained Paschal's permission for Clerics to do homage for their Nobles; that the Revenues of his See be given back to Anselm; and that Priests not be allowed to marry. Anselm then insisted on having The Laigle Agreement Sanctioned by Pope Paschal before he would consent to return to England.

By Letter, Anselm also asked that the Pope accept his compromise on doing homage to the King, because he had secured a greater victory in Henry's forsaking Lay Investiture. On 23 March 1106, Pope Paschal wrote to Anselm accepting the compromise, though both saw this as a temporary compromise, and intended to later continue pushing for The Gregorian Reform, including the custom of homage.

Even after this, Anselm still refused to return to England. King Henry travelled to Bec, in Normandy, and met with him on 15 August 1106. Henry made further concessions, restoring to Anselm all the Churches that had been seized by King William. He promised that nothing more would be taken from the Churches.

Prelates, who had paid his controversial tax (which had started as a tax on Married Clergy) would be exempt from taxes for three years, and he promised to restore all that had been taken from Canterbury during Anselm's Exile, even giving Anselm security for this promise. These compromises, on Henry's part, strengthened the Rights of The Church against the King. Anselm returned to England following these promises.

Saint Anselm's Church, Anselmo, Nebraska, United States of America. The Gothic Revival Church was constructed in 1928. The Saint Anselm's Complex, which includes the Church, Rectory,
and Parish Hall, is listed in The National Register of Historic Places.
Photo:: 3 June 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ammodramus.
(Wikimedia Commons)

By 1107, the long dispute, regarding Investiture, was finally settled. The Concordat of London announced the compromises that Anselm and Henry had made at Bec. The final two years of Anselm's life were spent in the duties of his Archbishopric. As Archbishop, Anselm maintained his Monastic ideals, which included stewardship, prudence, and fitting instruction to his flock, as well as Prayer and Contemplation. During his service as Archbishop, Anselm maintained a habit of pressing on his Monarchs at expedient times (when they needed his help, and when he would have public support) to advance his Church Reforms.

Anselm died on Holy Wednesday, 21 April 1109, in Canterbury, Kent, England, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral.

Ceiling painting depicting The Virgin Mary appearing to Saint Anselm of Canterbury.
Ossiach Monastery, Feldkirchen, Carinthia, Austria.
Artist: Josef Ferdinand.
Photo: 25 June 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: JJ55.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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