Albert Adam Chmielowski
POLAND, 1947, Scott 397, B57, 406
Born to a wealthy aristocratic family, St. Albert first studied agriculture to manage the family estate. In Krakow he was a well-known and well liked artist. One of his better paintings, an Ecce Homo, moved him to a profound experience of the merciful love of Christ for us. He resolved to give himself to God and in 1880 entered the Society of Jesus as a brother, but after 6 months, like St. Anthony Mary Claret, he had to leave for reasons of health.
He later became a Franciscan tertiary, taking the name Albert. He abandoned painting and began a life of working with and for the poorest people in Krakow. In 1887 he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor, known as the Albertines (after him) or the Gray Brothers (after their rough gray habits). In 1891 he founded the women's congregation of the Order (the Gray Sisters). The Albertines organized food and shelter for the poor and homeless. Albert preached that the great calamity of our time was that so many refused to see and voluntarily relieve the suffering of their miserable brothers and sisters. The "haves" lived away from the "have-nots" in order to ignore them and leave their care to others. St. John Paul II's 1949 play about Albert was made into a movie, Brother of Our God, in 1997.
POLAND, 1991, the death day of Brother Albert, Scott 3018
POLAND, 2000, Krakow, the capital of European culture, Scott 3516
Brother Albert is to the right of the vignette, just beneath Pope John Paul II
POLAND, 22 June 1983, special cancel for the beatification of Br. Albert on that day by Pope John Paul II in Krakow
POLAND, 2001, special cancel featuring Br. Albert
POLAND, 1947, Polish Culture issue, Scott 412a