The Reverend Father Anselm G. Bigg, PhD, OSB, was born James Gordon Biggs in Pocohontas, VA, the son of John Gordon and Mary Heatherman Biggs. He graduated from St. Joseph's High School in Huntington, WV, and matriculated at Belmont Abbey College, earning his B.A. He was admitted to the novitiate of Mary Help of Christians (Belmont) Abbey in 1933, taking the name Anselm in religious life. He made his solemn monastic profession in the Order of St. Benedict on July 11, 1937 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1940. Within the Abbey, Father Anselm served at various times as Assistant Pastor of the Abbey Church, Subprior, Novice Master, and for thirty-nine years was Master of Ceremonies. He also served as a Chaplain at Sacred Heart Convent. He pursued graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his PhD in History from the Catholic University of America. Father Anselm was a professor of history at Belmont Abbey College for sixty years, also serving at various times as Dean of Students, Academic Dean, and for twenty-four years as Chairman of the History Department. Father Anselm was a recognized scholar in the field of medieval history and a skilled linguist who translated several scholarly volumes of church history. Father Anselm died on January 9, 2001. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in the Abbey Church on January 11, 2001, followed by internment in the monastic cemetery. His memory is honored in the college by the Anselm Biggs Scholarship Fund.
Mary J. Heatherman Biggs
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