Albertus Magnus College is a Catholic College in the Dominican tradition since it was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The Dominican Order or the Order of Preachers was founded by Dominic in 1206.
Dominic was born in 1170 in Caleruega, Spain. As a young man he was drawn to a life of prayer, study and compassionate service. In order to respond to the heresy of his day, Dominic founded a religious community to preach the Gospel in 1206. Today there are members of the Dominican family on every continent who through their ministries bring the Good News of the Gospel to people world-wide. Dominic died on August 6, 1221. He was made a saint of the Church in 1234.
Today we see the spirit of St. Dominic alive at Albertus Magnus College through the commitment of the College to promote Dominic’s values: study, community, service and spirituality.
Patron of Albertus Magnus College, Albert was born about 1200 into the family of the counts of Bollstadt at Lauingen in Swabia. After studying in Bologna and Padua, he entered the recently founded Dominican order in 1223. For the next three decades, he studied and taught in Paris and Cologne, where the young Thomas Aquinas was among his students. In 1254, Albert was elected prior provincial of Germany and, soon after, was appointed papal theologian and named Bishop of Ratisbon. As Bishop he became known as "Boots the Bishop" since he walked everywhere to see those he ministered to as Bishop.
Yearning for academia, he resigned his episcopal appointment in 1262 and returned to Cologne for a life of prayer and study. Albert died in Cologne in 1280. According to a contemporary, Albert was a man "so superior in every science that he can fittingly be called the wonder and miracle of our time." His encyclopedic writings include works on physics, geography, astronomy, chemistry, biology, philosophy and theology. A listing of his works can be found on the water wall in the Tagliatela Academic Center.
He was a major figure in introducing Aristotle to the Latin West and was instrumental in the acceptance of human learning as an essential handmaid to theology. In 1933, Albert was proclaimed a saint and doctor of the Church.
One of the great women saints of the Dominican Order is Catherine of Siena. Catherine was born in 1344 in Siena, Italy. Although Catherine had no formal education as a child she left us her Prayers, Letters and Dialogue (with God).
Catherine joined the Dominican Mantellate, a group of Dominican lay women at the age of 18. Although she spent a great deal of time in prayer she also had and active life of service as a spiritual guide to others, as a pastoral presence to the suffering and as a peacemaker and reformer. Some of the major themes of her writings are the pursuit of truth, love and compassion for one’s neighbor, peace, the spiritual life and following the will of God. Catherine died on April 29, 1380. She was made a saint of the Church in 1461 and proclaimed a doctor of the Church in 1970.
Today at Albertus Magnus College we look to Catherine for inspiration as a person who was close to God, compassionate to others and courageous in her willingness to speak the truth to injustice.