Albinus, also known as Aubin, was born to a noble family in Brittany. From his youth Albinus was fervent in his piety. He decided to be a monk, and so in his twenties entered the monastic life at a place then called Cincillac. (Later the name was changed to St. Aubin’s in his honor.) At Cincillac, he became a model of virtue. Albinus was a very humble man, but also very courageous in his defense of his faith and in proclaiming truth.
In 504 he was chosen Abbot. After twenty-five years as Abbot, Albinus was made Bishop of Angers. The custom during Albinus’ time allowed for consanguinary marriage (marriage between those closely related through blood). Albinus felt that this was incest and fought against it, making many enemies, especially among some of the powerful families practicing consanguinity. Finally, in 538 and again in 541, Councils were called at Orleans and this practice was condemned, along with other immoral activities.
Albinus was a contemporary of St. Bede. We owe appreciation to St. Albinus for assisting St. Bede in composing his “Ecclesiastical History of the English.” St. Bede records this fact in the letter he sent to Albinus with a copy of the work. St. Bede also spoke very highly of Albinus, stating that he was a most learned man in all the sciences, and giving Albinus credit for his assistance.
Albinus died March 1, 549, and his relics are enshrined at Angers. King Childebert built a church over his burial place. Many churches in France, as well as monasteries and villages, bear his name. Many miracles were attributed to him while he lived and after his death. Some of these are related in writings by Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers.
Legend says that once Albinus visited a prison where a woman named Etheria, imprisoned for bad debts, fell down at his feet, pleading for his help. A guard pulled his sword and made a move to strike her with it when Albinus turned and breathed in the soldier’s face, whereby he fell dead. Soon after, Etheria was released.
St. Albinus, we ask your intercession for our friends and loved ones who make bad choices in their lives. We pray for those who are considering marriages that are not approved by God nor sanctioned by the Church, that they will seek to do what is right in God’s sight. In Christ’s Name we pray, Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. David (601), King of Wales, Patron of Wales and newborns