Albert was the oldest of four children, born to wealthy parents. His baptisimal name was “Adam.” In the revolt against Czar Alexander III in 1864, Adam was wounded which resulted in his left leg being amputated.
He was an excellent artist, studying art in Warsaw, Munich and Paris. Nevertheless, Adam returned to Krakow, Poland, and became a Secular Franciscan. In 1888, he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, taking the new name of Albert. Accordingly, Albert and the rest of the Brothers served the needy and the homeless, depending upon gifts from the community, regardless of religion, politics or status. Subsequently, the “Albertine Sisters” developed.
Albert died in 1916, and in 1983, St. John Paul II beatified him, and in 1990, he was canonized.
Our recently canonized Pope John Paul II, now St. John Paul II, wrote that St. Albert was an example for him of someone who was involved in the arts, that ultimately chose serving Jesus Christ as His priest. St. John Paul II too had been an actor, making the same choice as St. Albert. When St. John Paul II was a young priest, he wrote a play about St. Albert, “The Brother of Our God.”
Clearly, St. Albert saw “Jesus in disguise,” in the marginalized and the poor, just like Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. We venerate you today St. Albert, and we ask you to help us to be kind, generous and receptive to all of God’s children, especially those who are put in our path that require our help. St. Albert, pray for us!
With love and respect,
Sources: Vatican website; Franciscan Media