St. Albert was born at Mount Trapani, in Sicily. His father was of the illustrious family of Abbatibus and was possessed of an immense fortune; his mother, Jeanne de Palizze, was also of the nobility. They had no children, and in their distress vowed to consecrate to Our Lady the child God might give them. Little Albert, the fruit of the promise, was the delight of all for knowledge and virtue far beyond his years. When little more than a child, he received the habit in the Carmelite Monastery near his home, and at his profession all the nobility of the country were present. His life was an extraordinary mingling of prayer, penance, charity to his neighbor, and zeal for souls, to which God added visions and miracles. The Infant Jesus used to appear to him and rest in his arms. He lived to a great age, and in his later years retired into a desert to give himself wholly to prayer. The hour of his death was revealed to him, and many marvels announced its advent, August 7, 1306. At his funeral two Angels appeared to all present and intoned the Mass Os justi of Confessors, instead of the Requiem about to be celebrated. The clergy put on white vestments, as if for a Saint, and all considered that Albert was Canonized from Heaven. At the petition of Blessed John Soreth, his cultus was confirmed by Calixtus III, in 1453.
The use of water, blessed with a relic of the Saint, for the cure of the sick, and particularly for cases of fever, is well established in the Order of the Carmelites: and is justified by countless miracles, which have continued without interruption to the present day. This custom is of heavenly origin. St. Albert, being attacked with a grave illness, had recourse to the Blessed Virgin, who deigned to appear to him, holding a crystal cup, filled with water, which she offered him to drink. The Saint implored her to bless this water, and upon tasting it he was immediately cured.
Inflamed with charity for his neighbor, he besought the Most Holy Virgin to attach a healing power to all water which he would bless in her name and in that of her Divine Son. His prayer was granted; he used this power during life, and has continued to exercise it since his death, with marvellous efficacy, by means of his holy relics, as has been proved by innumerable persons who have taken this water with faith and confidence, while invoking his intercession.
BLESSING OF WATER IN HONOR OF ST. ALBERT, CONFESSOR
The priest is vested in surplice and stole, or at least in a
stole. Assisted by a server who carries a lighted candle, he goes
to the place where the relics of St. Albert are reserved and
reverently exposes them. The water to be blessed is at hand in a
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Blessed be the name of the Lord.
All: Both now and forevermore.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, health and strength of all the faithful, who
once completely cured the mother-in-law of your apostle, Peter,
of her high fever; be pleased to bless + and to hallow + this
creature, water. By the prayers of Blessed Albert, your
confessor, whom you called to forsake the world and to enter the
Order of your Mother, the Virgin Mary, and by the humble use of
this water, may all who suffer from fever be delivered from every
infirmity of body and soul, and so deserve to be restored
unharmed to your Church, where they will always offer their
prayers of gratitude. We ask this of you who live and reign
forever and ever.
Then he reverently takes the relics and immerses them in the
water tracing with them the sign of the cross, and saying:
By the merits of St. Albert, bless, + O Lord, this creature,
water, as you once consecrated the waters of the Jordan through
contact with your sacred body. And grant that all who taste of it
may regain health in body and soul; you who live and reign
forever and ever.
Antiphon: O Blessed Albert, model of purity, chastity,
continency; intercede with the Mother of mercy that she may keep
us from evildoing in this vale of tears, and help us to attain
everlasting rest after we have laid aside this mortal body.
P: Pray for us, O Blessed Albert.
All: That we may be worthy of Christ's promise.
Let us pray. Almighty and merciful God, grant, we beg you, that
by the prayers of Blessed Albert, your confessor, all the
faithful who reverently drink of this water may regain health in
body and soul, and so persevere in your holy service; through
Christ our Lord.
Sources: “Carmel, Its History, Spirit, and Saints” (NEW YORK: P.J. KENNEDY & SONS, 1927); Philip T. Weller, “The Roman Ritual, Volume II” (MILWAUKEE: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1964).