Rt. Rev. Astrik L. Gabriel, O. Praem.
Professor Astrik L. Gabriel was born Ladislaus Gabriel, on December 10, 1907, in Pécs, Hungary. In 1926, upon graduating from the Realgymnasium of his hometown, he joined the Premonstratensian order. After three years in the Studium Theologicum of the Prémontré Canons of Jászó (then in Czechoslovakia) he was ordained in 1931. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Budapest in 1936 after spending some four years in Paris as an advanced student in Medieval Studies and Old French Literature.
In 1938 Professor Gabriel founded the Premonstratensian French College in Gödölő, near Budapest, which he directed until 1947, as well as becoming Privat-Dozent and later Professor at the University of Budapest. After the communist take-over of Hungary, he left his country in 1947 and first went to the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, then in 1948 took up a permanent position at the University of Notre Dame, where he became Director of the Medieval Institute in 1953, a position he retained until 1975. He continued his academic pursuits as Professor Emeritus of the Medieval Institute until his death on May 16, 2005.
Professor Gabriel is best known in academic circles for his major contributions in the study of Medieval Universities, but he retained his interest in the history of the Premonstratensian order on which he published several studies, as well as being a member of the Historical Commission of the Canons of Prémontré since 1949. On January 18, 1982, he was made titular abbot of the former St. Michael’s Abbey in Budapest. The church of this former Premonstratensian house on St. Margaret Island in the Danube has been reconstructed and lies near the resting place of St. Margaret of Hungary whose biography he once wrote.
Medieval Studies Librarian
James J. John, Preface to Astrik L. Gabriel, The Paris Studium: Robert of Sorbonne and his Legacy: Interuniversity Exchange between the German, Cracow and Louvain Universities and that of Paris in the Late Medieval and Humanistic Period : Selected Studies, Texts and Studies in the History of Mediaeval Education, No. 19, Verlag Josef Knecht, Frankfurt am Main, 1992, pp. 15-20.
Th. Antry, O. Praem., “In memoriam Astrik Ladislaus Gabriel (1907-2005). A Bio-Bibliography,” Analecta praemonstratensia, 81 (2005), 246-270.
L.S. Domonkos, Obituary of Astrik L. Gabriel, O.Praem., Catholic Historical Review 91 (2005), 898-902.