St Albert (1845 – 1916) was born, one of four children, into a wealthy aristocratic family at Krakow, Poland. Sadly, both his parents died in his early childhood. St Albert studied agriculture with the intention of managing his family estate, however, he also ventured into civil rights politics and lost a leg in nationalist uprisings when he was 18. His involvement in the revolt forced him to temporarily move to Belgium where he studied engineering and art.
On his return to Poland, he became a successful artist; a well-known painting is “Ecce Homo”, the crowned Jesus. Despite his many successes and secure life, St Albert was, at heart, unhappy while living and watching the suffering of the poor around him. At 42, he abandoned his comforts and joined the Order of St Francis, choosing to live among the homeless in Krakow. A year later he took his final vows and went on to found the Brothers of St Francis, Servants of the Poor. He died in 1916 in a homeless shelter that he had previously set up.
St Albert is the Patron Saint of painters, Servants of the Poor, Franciscan Tertiaries, soldiers, volunteers, travellers and the Diocese of Sosnowiec. His Feast Day is the 17th of June.
St Albert Chmielowski:
Pray for us that we will find our life-path and live Jesus’ Gospel to the full.
Glory be to the Father…