Today, November 15, is the feast day of the Saint Albert the Great. He is the patron of scientists, medical technicians, philosophers and the natural sciences. He was born around 1200 and joined the Dominican Order after studying at the University of Padua. He displayed an encyclopedic grasp of what was known of the natural world at the time through the newly rediscovered works of Aristotle, and he recognized the genius of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose teacher and mentor he became. Because of his large stature and quiet nature, Thomas’ fellows called him a dumb ox, but St. Albert declared that Thomas’ bellows would resound throughout the world. The breadth and depth of his learning earned Albert the appellation “the Great” (Magnus) even during his lifetime. After serving as the bishop of Cologne for a time, Albert died in 1280. Learn more about this model of scientific learning and Christian holiness here.