Saint Anselme de Cantorbéry : Docteur de l'Église et Théologien Éminent-RELICS

Saint Anselm of Canterbury: Doctor of the Church and Eminent Theologian

Saint Anselm of Canterbury, also known as Anselm of Aosta, is a prominent figure of the Middle Ages, celebrated for his significant contributions to Christian theology. Born in 1033 in Aosta, Italy, Anselm became a monk, philosopher, and bishop, leaving a lasting legacy in Church history. In this article, we will explore the life of Saint Anselm, his theological works, and his impact on medieval Christian thought.

relic of Saint Anselm of Canterbury
Reliquary containing a relic of Saint Anselm on

Youth and Education

Anselme was born into a noble family and was educated in the Christian faith. From a young age he showed a keen interest in theology. However, his father did not support his choice of monastic life. Anselme fled to Bec Abbey in Normandy, where he became a monk under Lanfranc.

Monk and Philosopher

Under the tutelage of Lanfranc, Anselme immersed himself in the study of the writings of the Fathers of the Church and of philosophy. He developed a theological approach influenced by reason and faith. His works, such as "Monologion" and "Proslogion", reflect his commitment to exploring the relationship between faith and reason.

Archbishop of Canterbury

Anselm succeeded Lanfranc as archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. His appointment was not without conflicts with King William Roux. He found himself in exile several times, but his love for truth and justice brought him back several times.

Theological Contributions

1. The Ontological Proof: Anselm is famous for his “ontological proof” of the existence of God, presented in his work “Proslogion”. He argues that God is "that which no greater can be conceived", and that existence is inherent in the very nature of God.

2. Anselm's Satisfaction: In his work "Cur Deus Homo" (Why God became man), Anselm develops the theory of satisfaction, explaining the necessity of the Incarnation and Redemption as a satisfaction of the honor of God.

3. Faith and Reason: Anselm sought to reconcile faith and reason. He asserted that faith precedes intellectual understanding, but that reason can be used to deepen the understanding of faith.

Death and Canonization

Saint Anselm died on April 21, 1109. He was canonized in 1494 by Pope Alexander VI. His memory is honored on April 21 in the Catholic Church.

The Legacy of Saint Anselm

Saint Anselm's legacy lies in his ability to unite faith and reason, to defend Christian doctrine with intellectual rigor, and to influence generations of theologians. His work also laid the foundations of medieval scholasticism.


Saint Anselm of Canterbury remains a major figure in medieval theology, recognized for his exceptional intellect and deep spirituality. His commitment to harmonizing faith and reason continues to inspire students of theology and believers seeking to understand the depth of their faith. In celebrating the memory of Saint Anselm, the Church recognizes the precious gift of his theological wisdom.

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