Brat Albert

Polski: Portret św. Brata Alberta (Adam Chmiel...

Polski: Portret św. Brata Alberta (Adam Chmielowski), 1934 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Albert Chmielowski, also known as Brat Albert, is a modern saint who lived in Poland working for the good of the poor. He was orphaned young, and as a teenager, he fought in the Polish uprising of 1863 against the Russian Empire. In doing so, he lost his leg, but this may have saved him from being executed.

After recovering from the loss of his leg, he traveled to Belgium and later Paris and Munich, where he studied painting. Back in Poland he became a popular painter and lived for many years as an artist before giving up his career to live among the poor. He took the name Albert upon joining the Franciscans, where he founded the Servants of the Poor, now also known as the Albertines. They exist today, providing homes for the needy and running a soup kitchen.

Fun fact: Pope John Paul II, then known as Father Karol Wojtyla wrote a play about Brat Albert called Brother of our God.

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