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Alanus de Rupe

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Alanus Psalter 1492 H2

Woodblock in the Alanus Psalter, 1492

Saint Alanus de Rupe (also Alan, Alain de la Roche, Blessed Alan or Blessed Alain de la Roche); 8 September 1428 – 8 September 1475) was a Roman Catholic theologian noted for his views on prayer. Some writers claim him as a native of Germany, others of Belgium; but his disciple, Cornelius Sneek, assures us that he was born in Brittany. He died at Zwolle. Because St. Alan is a recently canonized saint, most literature written about him still refers to him as "Blessed Alan". The fact that he is a canonized saint is, to date, little known.

Early in life he entered the Dominican Order, and while pursuing his studies at Saint Jacques, Paris, he distinguished himself in philosophy and theology. From 1459 to 1475 he taught almost uninterruptedly at Paris, Lille, Douay, Ghent, and Rostock in Germany, where, in 1473, he was made Master of Sacred Theology. During his sixteen years of teaching he became a most renowned preacher. He was indefatigable in what he regarded as his special mission, the preaching and re-establishment of the Rosary, which he did with success throughout northern France, Flanders, and the Netherlands. The Confraternities of the Rosary he founded still exist today and continue to accept new members.

His vision of the restoration of the devotion of the Rosary is assigned to the year 1460. St. Alanus published nothing during his lifetime, but immediately after his death the brethren of his province were commanded to collect his writings for publication. These were edited at different times and have occasioned much controversy among scholars.

His relations of the visions and sermons of Dominic, supposed to have been revealed to St. Alanus, are, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia not to be regarded as historical. However, Patrick Cardinal Hayes of New York provided his imprimatur in support of the fifteen rosary promises attributed to St. Dominic and St. Alan.[1] In this attribution, the Blessed Virgin Mary reportedly made fifteen specific promises to Christians who pray the rosary.[2] The fifteen rosary promises range from protection from misfortune to meriting a high degree of glory in heaven [3].

His works are published by J. G. T. Graesse in Trésor des livres rares et précieux (1859). His feast day is October 26.[4].


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