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Saint Albert Chmielowski
Born August 20, 1845, Igołomia
Died December 25, 1916, Kraków
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified June 22, 1983 by Pope John Paul II
Canonized November 12, 1989, Saint Peter's Square by Pope John Paul II
Feast June 17

Saint Albert Chmielowski a.k.a Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski was born August 20, 1845, in Igołomia near Miechów, Congress Poland, Russian Empire, and died December 25, 1916, in Kraków, Austria-Hungary, of natural causes. He was beatified on June 22, 1983, in Kraków and canonized on November 12, 1989, by Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter's Square, Rome. His memorial day is June 17.

Chmielowski is also known as Adam Chmielowski, Brat Albert (Brother Albert), Brother of Our Lord, Brother of Our God, and Our God's Brother.

"Ecce Homo" by Adam Chmielowski, 1880s

Born to a wealthy aristocratic family, he initially studied agriculture with the intention of managing the family estate. Involved in politics since his youth, he lost a leg at the age of 17, while fighting in an insurrection. He became a well-known and well-liked artist in Kraków, his political convictions inspiring his interest in the human condition. A gentle and compassionate spirit, Chmielowski felt compelled to help those in need and after years of reflection, decided to follow his calling into the service of God.

In 1880, Chmielowski joined the Jesuit Order, took up the name Albert and abandoned painting. He began the life of working for the poor. In 1887, he founded Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis - Servants of the Poor known as the Albertines (named for him) or the Gray Brothers (after their rough gray habits). In 1891, he founded the women's congregation, the (Gray Sisters). The Albertines organized food and shelter for the poor and homeless.

St. Albert believed that the great calamity of our time is that so many refuse to see and relieve the suffering of others. The so called "haves" live away from the "have-nots", ignore them and leave their care to society.

In 1949, Pope John Paul II wrote a play about St. Albert; which was filmed in 1997 and released as Brother of Our God. Albert was the spiritual teacher of Servant of God Maria Jablonska.

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