(Photo: White Cliffs of Dover)

St. Anselm, whose feast we celebrate April 21, was named Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church.  Anselm was born around the year 1033 in Aosta, Italy.  As a boy, he longed to be a monk.  But, when he applied at age fifteen,  the future saint was denied due to his father’s refusal.  At around the age 20, he left home to wander for three years until he came across a monastery in Normandy where, at the age of 27, he became a novice.  Three years after his entry into the novitiate, Anselm was elected abbot.

Later, on a visit to England in 1093, St. Anselm met King William II, who would eventually appoint Anselm archbishop of Canterbury.  However, the monarch and the archbishop did not agree with each other on many issues, which  led to St. Anselm’s first exile in Europe.  The Archbishop of Canterbury was summoned again to England by Henry I, but disagreements continued and Anselm was re-exiled.  By 1107, the monk and the monarch finally reached a compromise, which allowed the Archbishop to return finish his life in England.

St. Anselm had done most of his writing during exile and is remembered as an intellectual and philosophical man.

Join us on our pilgrimage to England: Mary’s Dowry, where we will tour the Canterbury Cathedral and learn of some other saints of Canterbury.


  • wikipedia 
  • The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Saints by Tessa Paul. published by Hermes House, Leicestershire 2011.