St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) and Mary

Saint Anselm (1033-1109) was born in Aosta, Italy. He left his country and became a monk and then abbot of the Abbey of Bec Hellouin. He was later to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

He had a European stature

He is known for his attempt at understanding the faith, and for his so-called ontological proof of God's existence.

For Anselm, the Virgin Mary is not merely a theological idea; he loves and venerates her like a real person, who is close to his heart. She is our maternal collaboratrix and a necessary element in our relationship with Christ the Redeemer. In his teaching, Christ and Mary mutually illuminate each other. Saint Eadmer Canterbury was one of his disciples.

His doctrine drew a bridge between doctrine and piety

He contemplated the mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Incarnation from the sublime viewpoint of the whole Creation.

Mary and Jesus are indissociable. Anselm loved them both and prayed to them at the same time. Saint Anselm offered Mary a very humble prayer, for he knew he was sinful.


GAMBERO Luigi, Marianum Rome.

See L. GAMBERO, Maria nel pensiero dei teologi Medieval Latin, ed San Paolo, 2000.