St. Albert of Sicily was born between 1250-1257 at Trapani, a city on the western end of the Island of Sicily. After schooling at the Carmelite monastery, he entered the novitiate and at the age of 18, he was professed. He was probably ordained a priest in Trapani and continued on at that monastery as a teacher. His teaching was successful and although he wrote little, he is still venerated by Carmelites the world over as the patron of Carmelite schools. After a number of years as a teacher, he was put into an apostolate among the people of Sicily as a mendicant preacher. Preachers at that time were a vital part of the education of the people of Sicily. He was recognized as a man of God and was able to convert many to Christianity. He also was the instrument of many miracles.
About the year 1275, he was elected provincial of the Sicillan Carmelite province and although he was belabored by administrative work, he still continued his preaching apostolate. The greatest wonder attributed to his intercession happened in the year 1301. At that time the city of Messina was under siege by Robert, Duke of Calabria. The city was surrounded and its port blockaded. Famine and disease increased in the city. During this time, Albert was residing in the city which he had chosen as his provincial residence. The Messina city fathers in desperation went to the Carmelite monastery to ask Albert for his help to save the people of Messina. Albert promised his prayers and asked the city officials and people to participate at his Mass to ask for God's intercession. Just as he finished this special celebration of the Mass, a lookout of the city spotted three ships which ran the blockade and docked at the Manertino port of Messina. The ships were loaded with grain. The people of Messina were saved from starvation and soon the siege had ended. The people of Messina attributed this unusual help to the intercession of St. Albert. In 1629, the city of Messina in grateful rememberance, built and dedicated a city gate to St. Albert.
After many years as Provincial, he finally retired to a small monestery on a mountain outside of Messina. He died there on August 7, 1306. When the people of Messina heard of Albert's death, they came to the little monastery and took his body in solemn procession to the Carmelite Church in the city. Then the Sicilian king and the Archbishop of Messina had Albert's body brought to the Cathedral where the funeral Mass was celebrated. The clergy and people of Messina immediately declared Albert a saint and continued to revere him as such. On May 31, 1476, Pope Sixtus IV officially canonized Albert of Trapani as a Saint of the Church. He is considered, in our present times, an example of the pastoral preaching apostolate to Christians and non-Christians alike.
His body lies in the Carmelite Church in Trapani where he is still venerated, especially as a patron against fevers. His feast day is celebrated with great ceremony on August 7th.
Ancient Prayer for healing attributed to St. Albert
O my God, you have created the human race by your wonderful power. It is an act of your clemency that has called us to share your glory and eternal life. When the first sin condemned us to suffer death, out of your goodness you wished to redeem us through the blood of your Son, to unite us to you through our faith and your great mercy. You have brought us back from the shame of our sin; you have veiled our dishonour in the brightness of your glory. Look now and see that what you have created, giving it subtle limbs and joints and made beautiful through its immortal soul, is now subject to the attack of Satan. Be pleased Lord to reconstitute your work and heal it. May your power be glorified and may the malice of the enemy be stunned.
Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Albert of Trapani
you made St. Albert of Trapani
a model of purity and prayer,
and a devoted servant of Our Lady.
May we practise these same virtues
and so be worthy always
to share the banquet of your grace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
**Above prayers taken from St. Joseph's Carmelite Monestary in Dublin. They have
great information regarding St. Albert of Trapani on their website
and are kind enough to include a link to ours as well.