Albert Chmielowski Date 1886(1886)
Medium Oil on canvas
cjr Czarnokozince (born Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski; 1845 - 1916) was a Polish religious brother and founder of the Albertines. He is a saint of the Catholic Church. Albert is also known as Brat Albert (Brother Albert); in recognition of his holiness, he has also been called the "Brother of Our Lord", "Brother of Our God", and "Our God's Brother".
Adam Chmielowski was born to a wealthy aristocratic family, and initially studied agriculture with the intention of managing the family estate. Involved in politics since his youth, he lost a leg at the age of 17 while fighting in an insurrection. He became a well-known and well-liked artist in Krakew, his political convictions inspiring his interest in the human condition. A gentle and compassionate spirit, Chmielowski felt compelled to help those in need and after years of reflection, decided to follow his calling into the service of God.
In 1880, Chmielowski joined the Jesuits, took up the name Albert and abandoned painting. He began a life of service to the poor. In 1887, he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor, known in honor of their founder as the Albertines or the Gray Brothers, after their rough gray habits. In 1891, he founded the women's congregation, the Gray Sisters. The Albertines organized food and shelter for the poor and homeless.
Albert believed that the great calamity of our time is that so many refuse to see and relieve the suffering of others. The so-called "haves" live away from the "have-nots", ignoring them and leaving their care to society.