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St. Albert the Great

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

The following reflection is part of an ongoing series about the life of St. Dominic & the Order of Friars Preachers.

A renowned theologian, bishop, and Doctor of the Church, Albert (ca. 1200 – 1280) was born to a noble German family. Against their wishes he joined the Order of Preachers. The works of the great greek philosopher Aristotle had just been rediscovered, and the Dominicans were caught up in the wave of learning sweeping Europe. Albert lectured in several German priories and was director of studies in Cologne. His pupils included Thomas Aquinas. Called “Great” because of his vast knowledge of chemistry, architecture, philosophy, music, and mathematics, he helped organize the studies of the Dominican Order. In 1260 Albert was appointed bishop of Regensburg, Germany, but resigned two years later, believing that he could be more useful teaching. His writings include biblical and theological works, sermons, treatises on logic, metaphysics, ethics, and the physical sciences. He is that patron saint of students of the natural sciences.

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (a member of the English Province) was invited by the Dominican Foundation to take pictures of some of the locations where our friars serve throughout the Northeast. During his time in Washington, D.C., Fr. Lew photographed the interior of the Church of St. Dominic. St. Dominic’s has been the church where our friars are ordained to the priesthood each May. Surrounding the church, is a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that chronicle the life of St. Dominic & the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Fr. Lew accomplished a great work by capturing the splendor of these windows, and in the process, the life of a towering saint.

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