Saint Albert of Jerusalem
Jul 14, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast September 25
Albert was born in Parma, Italy, about 1149 to a prominent family.
He became a canon of Holy Cross Abbey in Mortoba and, in 1184, was appointed as the Bishop of Bobbio, Italy. Soon after, he was named to the see of Vercelli.
Albert served as a mediator in the dispute between Pope Clement III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who fought against Clement’s papacy.
In gratitude, Clement appointed Albert as Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205, a post established in 1099 when Jerusalem became a Latin kingdom in the control of Christian crusaders. Jerusalem, however, was no longer in Christian hands as the Saracens recaptured the city in 1187.
The Christians needed a patriarch, but the position was a dangerous one, open to persecution and martyrdom at the hands of the Muslims.
Though his predecessors had failed, Albert accepted and in time, proved himself not only to the local Christians, but also to the Muslims who respected him for his sanctity and his intelligence. Because of the heavy Muslim presence in Jerusalem, Albert took up residence in Acre, a northern port.
Near the city is the holy Mount Carmel, where a group of hermits lived. In 1209, they sought Albert out and requested that he devise a rule of life that they may follow (this rule was the beginning of the Carmelite Order).
Pope Honorius III confirmed the rule in 1226, and it was mitigated twenty years later in 1254 by Pope Innocent IV.
Albert was called to the general council of the Lateran to lend his wisdom and diplomacy, but was assassinated before leaving Palestine. Albert had disposed a doctor of his post at a local hospital and in revenge the doctor stabbed the holy man to death.
The year was 1214, and Albert had been presiding over a procession on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.