c. 1033 – 1109

Saint Anselm in
Norwich Cathedral
Norwich, England

This scholarly Italian youth wanted to become a monk, but his father’s disapproval pushed him to a secular life that he later described as dissipated. After his mother died, he moved to France to continue studies with her family. In 1060 he joined the Benedictines at Bec in Normandy, and in 1078 was elected abbot, which increasingly involved him in civil and church affairs in France and England. In 1093 he became archbishop of Canterbury, a post held until his death. During his tenure, Canterbury became England’s primatial see, but Anselm was twice exiled over conflicts with English monarchs. He penned a systematic study of Christian beliefs and many letters to his beloved monks. He is a doctor of the church.

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