Almighty God, through Your grace, Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso, by his exemplary virtue built up the flock entrusted to him. Grant that we, under the guidance of the Gospel, may follow his teaching and walk in sureness of life, until we come to see You face to face in Your eternal kingdom.
Alfredo Ludovico Luigi Schuster was born in Rome of Bavarian immigrants on January 18, 1880. At 11 years old he entered the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls taking the name Ildefonso in 1896; he professed solemn vows in 1902. Philosophy studies was done at Sant’Anselmo and theology was studied at Saint Paul’s where he was ordained a priest on March 19, 1904.
Service to the monastic way of life, besides the daily opus Dei (the praying of the Divine Office), included scholarship, novice master for 8 years, prior of the for 2 years, procurator of the Cassinese Congregation of the Benedictine monks for 12 years and abbot-ordinary of Saint Paul outside the Walls from 1918 until 1929. He was President of the Pontifical Oriental Institute from 1919 to 1922.
On June 26, 1929, Pope Pius XI nominated him the Archbishop of Milan and a few weeks later created him a cardinal on July 15. In 1933, the Order of Malta honored Schuster with the Grand Cross for his service to the Church.
Cardinal Schuster died of natural causes on August 30, 1954. In 1957, Cardinal Giovanni Montini –later Pope Paul VI– introduced Schuster’s cause for canonization. It is said that upon opening Schuster tomb on January 28, 1985, his was incorrrupt; he beatied on May 12, 1996 by Pope John Paul II.
Days before Blessed Ildefonso died he said: “You want something to remember be by. All I can leave you is an invitation to holiness….”