Young wanderer becomes mighty defender
Then the temptations of life caught his attention and he wandered.
Years later, he found himself again at the doors of a monastery and he committed his life to God.
However, it was not yet clear what God wanted to do with him.
He felt called to the contemplative life of a hermit. On the other hand, his father had left him an estate with which might do great good for the poor. In the end, he submitted to the will of his superiors and committed himself to the monastic life.
Now committed to the service of God, the young man blossomed. He was blessed with a pious spirit, abundant energy, and a phenomenal intellect. He would quickly be called to greater and greater levels of responsibility (within three years he would be the number two man in the monastery), but his mind and his spirit soared further and in between his daily administrative tasks he wrote philosophical and theological works of great skill and insight.
He continued to write even after he was almost literally dragged into becoming a Bishop.
It was not just humility that made him reluctant to accept that office. Powerful political forces sought to dominate the Church and make it a tool of the State. He would rise to the challenge and defended the autonomy of the Church and the Gospel, sometimes with bold action, sometimes with careful nuance.
Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, died on this very day in 1109. His truly classic theological works include the Proslogium and Cur Deus Homo. His thought would be admired by diverse philosophers such as Descartes and Hegel.
St. Anselm of Canterbury was canonized in 1492.
(from an earlier post)