Solemn Profession of Br Pius D Collins o.praem.

Br Pius is incorporated into the canonry and receives the canonical almuce.

Br Pius is incorporated into the canonry and receives the canonical almuce.

On Thursday, 9th July the memoria of Ss Adrian and James o.praem, martyrs of Gorcum, Br Pius Collins o.praem. was solemnly professed as a Premonstratensian canon of the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Philip Benizi, Chelmsford. By solemn profession a member of the Order vows to follow the Rule and manner of life in poverty, chastity and obedience until death and becomes fully incorporated into the community.

My sincere thanks go to our Prior and Prelate, Rt Rev High Allan o.praem., and to all my confreres for their work and support. Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I prepare for my ordinations, that I may be a faithful son of St Norbert and worthy of being called by Christ.

For my photographs from the occasion please visit our Flickrstream.

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St Norbert and St John the Baptist

The nativities of only three people are commemorated in the liturgical calendar, our Lord and his blessed Mother, and St John the Baptist. Used as we are to modern (i.e. post-classical) devotional images, St John the Baptist gets much less of a look-in in the western Church than he used to. A legacy of his former position is retained in the sacred liturgy, however, since in the Confiteor, his name is mentioned immediately after those of Our Lady, and the Archangel Michael: “I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever-virgin, to Blessed Michael the Archangel, to Blessed John the Baptist, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to our Holy Fathers Augustine and Norbert…”

In eastern iconography, Our Lord is often flanked by Our Lady on one side, and St John on the other.

In mediaeval times, the feast of John’s nativity marked the end of the first half of the year (later, it would be the latest date upon which the feast of Corpus Christi could fall). All the great liturgical cycles of the year occurred in this first-half of the year, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascensiontide, and Whitsuntide, all crowned by Corpus Christi, as if the Christian is being annually led through all the mysteries of his salvation in the first half of the year, that he might spend the other half contemplating it, and preparing for the next cycle. This feast falls in between the midsummer solstice and the feast of Peter and Paul: the great feasts of the last week of June were traditionally marked with great bonfires and festivities throughout the night, taking full advantage of the long, summer nights.

These celebrations are in marked contrast to the start of the year. Six months ago today, it was Christmas eve, and we were shrouded in cold and darkness, awaiting the first flicker of divine light to shine in this fallen world. As it once did on the first day of creation, so does light, but this time, a greater light, illumine the cosmos. Half-a-year later, the Benedictus has special resonance: the Orient on high has come to visit us! At the time of year when the sun is at its highest in the sky, the Son has been lifted up high in our hearts by the contemplation of his mysteries. Truly, then, this is the last day of the Christmas season! Tomorrow, we will begin to prepare ourselves to celebrate his coming once again, in joyful hope of his coming on the clouds in glory.

John the Baptist is held in special regard by the Norbertine Order, and, along with Augustine and Norbert, receives double-mention in our litanies.

The first church of our Order, the House of Poverty at Prémontré, was originally a small chapel dedicated to John the Baptist, that, when looking for a home, St Norbert recognised as a the place God intended for his community. Although the Church itself no longer exists, since the Abbey was confiscated by the godless revolutionary slaves of Beelzebub at the end of the eighteenth-century, we have never forgotten the dedication of our Mother Church, the loss of which is a thorn in the heart of every Norbertine. Prémontré herself has gone, but her spirit, and, we trust, the patronage of her own patron, St John, lives still amongst the communities of her sons and daughters spread throughout the world, who have sought to build their own Houses of Poverty in the desert of this fallen world. 

The ruins of the Chapel of St John the Baptist at Prémontré

John was the last of the ancient prophets: to him fell the task of pointing out the Messiah. He lived the religious life, since the religious life is something which preempted the Incarnation in the sacred scriptures. It was a form of life taken by the Lord, sanctified, and propagated by the Church. These celibate religious – a way of life which dates back to the time of the prophet Elijah, and possibly even before – lived in expectation of the coming of the Messiah, and, by the time he actually did arrive, they had some idea of the implications: even the holy men of the east were expecting the divine child! John himself was of a priestly family. After all, it was while he was offering incense that his father, Zechariah, received an angelic vision announcing the Precursor. The life of this hieromonk John was steeped in the liturgical spirituality of his religion, and when he sees Jesus, he immediately recognises the immolated lamb on the altar, the lamb which is annually sacrificed to take away the sins of the nation. To his fellow religious and disciples, John points at Jesus, saying: “behold, the Lamb of God!” This is the Lamb that will take our sins away, not those other lambs that we sacrifice in the Temple. This the Lamb of sacrifice that the Father himself has provided.

Along with his biblical name-sake, John the Apostle (whose head reclined on the breast of Jesus at the Last Supper, and who stood silently at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady, and became her son, all of which symbolises the contemplative life of the Church), John the Baptist is the patron of religious world-wide, especially contemplative priest-religious.

We cannot forget, either, that the feast of John’s decollation is kept the day after the feast of St Augustine. This summer, we shall be praying especially for the Synod on the Family in the autumn, the aim of which is to find truly good and Christ-centred solutions to the varied difficulties and hardships that many people face in our society. John was decapitated for speaking the truth: my he help guide the synod fathers in their deliberations, and when times of persecution return, as they surely will in our land, may we be given something of his faith and his fortitude, to galvanise each one of us to live, and die, for Christ the Lord.

It is not I that live, but him that lives in me.”

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Saint Isfrid and the summer dates for the Jubilee Year indulgence

Today is the feast of St Isfrid.

After the death of St Norbert in 1134, the Order continued to spread rapidly throughout Germany, and beyond. Only 9 years after his death, there were even Norbertines in England.

It is sometimes forgotten, however, that large swathes of Europe in this period were still pagan, never having heard the Word of God. In fact, Magdeburg, where Norbert was archbishop, was on the very edge of Christendom. As the earlier Benedictine monasteries were to England in the time of Gregory the Great, so were Norbertine monasteries to Germany in the 12th century: beacons of truth and charity in a world that did not know Christ, drawing men and women to that living spring of water. We can sometimes forget the importance of the contemplative life in the Church’s missionary activity, especially today, since we have forgotten its value, and vivifying effect on the world. In fact, the Norbertine way of life itself signifies the Church’s dual function as both the active Martha and the contemplative Mary, for our contemplative life overflows into active work.

Norbertine monasteries provided the Church with many bishops in the mediaeval period, especially north-east Germany, and Isfrid was the second Norbertine bishop of Ratzeburg (which is near Lübeck), succeeding St Evermode (later, the Norbertine St Ludolph would also become Bishop of Ratzeburg).

Ratzeburger Dom

Then, as now, there were conflicts between Germany and Rome. In fact, the reform movement of St Gregory VII – which led to the foundation of our Order – was spurred on by this conflict, which, although it externally at this time revolved around the so-called investiture controversy, was – and is – essentially a conflict between the Church’s authority to preach the Gospel, and the world’s authority to propagate its own capricious values. In the time of Gregory VII, there were many in Germany, as there are today, who stood up for Christ, lone sheep in a den of wolves, such as St Altmann of Passau (whose successor as Bishop of Passau has recently contributed to the Family Synod discussion).

A later Bavarian duke, Henry the Lion, who also reigned as a Saxon duke, supported the evangelising mission of these Norbertine bishops, and he suffered the consequences of his loyalty, and was deposed by the emperor (though later restored). Isfrid and his fellow Norbertines, like the duke, suffered persecution and rebukes during this period, but the wisdom, humility and fortitude of these saints shone more brightly that the errors and hatred of the powerful. Like St Norbert, Isfrid was sought out to reconcile disputes, and he worked many miracles, cured the blind, and transformed water into wine.

May Isfrid and his fellow Norbertine missionaries be an inspiration and help to those engaged in evangelising Europe once more.

A reminder to our readers:

The Pope has granted a plenary indulgence to those who, under the usual conditions, piously visit our priory chapel in Chelmsford (and all principal churches of canonries of our Order) on the feast days of Norbertine saints, to venerate the statue of St Norbert, reciting an Our Father, the Creed, and some prayers to Our Lady and St Norbert. This indulgence has been granted in celebration of the 900th anniversary of the conversion of St Norbert. During this summer, the plenary indulgence may be gained on the following days:

15 June: St Isfrid

9 July: SS Adrian and James

14 July: Blessed Hroznata

13 August: Blessed Gertrude

28 August: St Augustine

30 August: Blessed Bronislava

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The sweet death of St Norbert

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love.

℣ Send forth Thy Spirit, O Lord
℟ And Thou shall renew the face of the earth

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His holy consolations. Through Christ our Lord. ℟ Amen.

Norbert_von_Xanten7

Physically, Norbert was weak, worn out from long and hard penances. His infirmity grew worse because of the burden and strain of traveling as well as the corrupt air of the land. Add to this solicitude for his domestic affairs, the change of climate and the constant unrest. However, it is not possible for any one person to tell all the things which were accomplished by him there or elsewhere, because it is impossible for one person to know or become acquainted with everything.

It is known that not longer after his return to the city of Magdeburg from Italy, Norbert was seized by a grave illness and suffered from it for four months. Filled with the Holy Spirit and in full possession of his sense and while giving blessing to those in attendance, Norbert died peacefully. He had administered his diocese wisely and faithfully for eight years. As Blessed Augustine said: “one who had lived well could not died badly.”

It was the year of the Lord’s Incarnation 1134, the Wednesday after Pentecost, the eighth day before the Ides of June, in the fifth year of the reign of Pope Innocent, the ninth year of the reign of Lothair.

His body lay unburied and day by day was brought to the different monasteries of his city. In each one, vigils and those prayers which are due to the faithful departed were carefully celebrated. On the eighth day, the body of the holy man was buried with his confreres in the Church of Blessed Mary.

On the same day and hour on which his soul was separated from his body, a confrere saw Norbert in a white garment and a fine likeness, holding an olive branch in his hand. When the confrere asked him, somewhat fearfully, whence he came and where he was hastening, he answered: “I was sent from paradise whence I have brought this green olive branch and I go quickly to plant it to the place of my poverty at Prémontré.”

Blessed is Norbert, the first Father of this Order. Surely blessed, he spurned worldly heights and, subject to the yoke of Christ, dutifully sowed the seed which all around has born a marvelous fruit, fruit through which the cloister rule saves many, fruit which joyfully fills the heavenly storehouses. An incredible spirit, a divine fire, marked him out and made him known for learning. He burned with heavenly light. He was the peer of the great doctors. Crowned with merit, he bears an imperishable name. He constantly loved true poverty. With courageous faith he put Satan to flight. Vessel of the Eternal Word, minister of peace, he secured peace, reconciling discord. Advanced to episcopal office, he was outstanding, a cross for the wicked, an example for the good. In all Church affairs he was a shining star. Blessed is he who could stand secure before swords. Conscious of no wrong in himself, he does not grow pale with guilt, nor hesitate to die, but is bound to the love of Christ. Blessed is he who, when the Lord comes, will have troops whom the good judge will choose from our Order. May grace protect us at this time of trial. Amen. Here ends the life of our glorious father, Norbert.

℣ Being found in the rugged paths of vice by the Guardian of the city,
℟ Stayed by lightning stroke, he put off the old man.

℣ He who was dead lives again;
℟ He who was lost is found.

℣ Having laid aside his earthly goods
℟ He put on the garment of poverty.

℣ When he found the valley of Prémontré, he cried:
℟ “This is the spot which the Lord has chosen for us.”

℣ What he preached in word, he fulfilled in deed
℟ Confirming the faithful by his miracles and wonderful actions.

℣ He entered Magdeburg barefoot
℟ And clothed in the garment of poverty

℣ Having given his support to the Holy Church of Rome in her afflictions,
℟ Blessing his brethren, he fell asleep in Christ.

Norbert, as a burning light placed on a candlestick, illumined all who dwelt with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

℣ Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
℟ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who did make of Blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an excellent preacher of the Word, and by his means did enrich Thy Church with new offspring, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his intercession we may put into practice, by Thy grace, what he taught us, both in word and work.

Awake, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop was guided, in order that, filled with the same spirit, we may love what he loved and live as he taught us.

O Lord, grant to us Thy servant’s constancy in Thy faith and service, that, rooted in Divine charity, we may not be conquered by any temptation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

℣ Praised be the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar
℟ And the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Posted in Novena to OHF Norbert

The election of St Norbert to the bishopric of Magdeburg

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love.

℣ Send forth Thy Spirit, O Lord
℟ And Thou shall renew the face of the earth

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His holy consolations. Through Christ our Lord. ℟ Amen.

He entered Magdeburg barefoot, clad in the garment of poverty

He entered Magdeburg barefoot, clad in the garment of poverty

Norbert found himself in Speyer in the Palatinate, where the Saxons had gathered in large number with the clergy of Magdeburg and King Lothair to elect a new archbishop. When they heard that the man, whom people from different nations of the world acclaimed as holy, had arrived, they sent for him to come and give a sermon which people enjoyed hearing. But they also sent for him to hear his advice on certain business which required that some of them be there.

First the case of the people of Magdeburg was dealt with. They were left without a spiritual father. Present at the meeting was Cardinal Gerard, who had recently come from Rome, and a number of princes. These men proposed three names for the election, one of which was Father Norbert. However, Norbert was unaware of this. While they were undecided and looking for the best of the three candidates, Albero, the Bishop of Metz secretly indicated with his hand that they should chose the man of God, Norbert. They immediately seized him, and cried loudly: “We elect this man as our father, we approve him as our shepherd!”

The frail man could not defend himself, and led away to a place he did not know, carrying with him a very heavy burden.

As is customary, at Norbert’s entry into Magdeburg was a great assembly of people. All were joyful, both young and old: the old because they had elected someone well-known and respected; the young because they were receiving in this man someone who would sympathise with their difficulties.

From a distance, he gazed at the city to which he was being led, and entered it barefoot. Barefoot he entered the sanctuary with the procession. Barefoot he was led to the palace a poor man, poor and garbed in a cloak. While others were entering, he was rejected by the doorkeeper, since he was unknown to him. The doorkeeper said to Norbert: “The other poor people were admitted long ago. It isn’t proper for you to intrude rudely along with this throng of princes.”

Those who were following exclaimed: “Wretch! What are you doing? Let him go! What have you done? Do you not know that this is our bishop, and your master?”

The man quickly fled and hid, but Father Norbert, calling him back, said with a smile: “Do not be afraid, and do not flee, brother. You know me better and see me more clearly than those who force me, appearing so poor and simple, to this lofty palace to which I should not have been elevated.”

℣ Being found in the rugged paths of vice by the Guardian of the city,
℟ Stayed by lightning stroke, he put off the old man.

℣ He who was dead lives again;
℟ He who was lost is found.

℣ Having laid aside his earthly goods
℟ He put on the garment of poverty.

℣ When he found the valley of Prémontré, he cried:
℟ “This is the spot which the Lord has chosen for us.”

℣ What he preached in word, he fulfilled in deed
℟ Confirming the faithful by his miracles and wonderful actions.

℣ He entered Magdeburg barefoot
℟ And clothed in the garment of poverty

℣ Having given his support to the Holy Church of Rome in her afflictions,
℟ Blessing his brethren, he fell asleep in Christ.

Norbert, as a burning light placed on a candlestick, illumined all who dwelt with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

℣ Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
℟ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who did make of Blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an excellent preacher of the Word, and by his means did enrich Thy Church with new offspring, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his intercession we may put into practice, by Thy grace, what he taught us, both in word and work.

Awake, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop was guided, in order that, filled with the same spirit, we may love what he loved and live as he taught us.

O Lord, grant to us Thy servant’s constancy in Thy faith and service, that, rooted in Divine charity, we may not be conquered by any temptation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

℣ Praised be the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar
℟ And the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Posted in Novena to OHF Norbert

The glorious triumph of St Norbert

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love.

℣ Send forth Thy Spirit, O Lord
℟ And Thou shall renew the face of the earth

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His holy consolations. Through Christ our Lord. ℟ Amen.

The foundation of the Order, and the Eucharistic Triumph of St Norbert, depicted on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey church at Schäftlarn, near Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria.

The foundation of the Order, and the Eucharistic Triumph of St Norbert, depicted on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey church at Schäftlarn, near Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria.

Antwerp was a very large and populated city in which there was only one priest who had the care of all the souls living there. Because of the great multitude, and his constant negligence, he was unable to do so, however. Neither was he trusted, because he had made his niece a partner in his crime by taking her as a carnal companion. For this reason, the people, like a flock without a shepherd, wandered about in many false errors.

Hence it happened that a heretic, a seducer by the name of Tanchelm, who was remarkably shrewd and cunning, came there and found a place among these people for his false teaching. He was the most evil of all men, an enemy of God and His sacraments. He opposed religion and the Christian faith to such a degree that he declared that obedience to bishops and priests was not necessary, and he denied the reception of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ was a benefit to eternal salvation. And he led the people in the same error, and about three thousand armed men followed him. There was neither duke nor bishop nor any priest who dared to resist or go against him. This most foul and detestable abomination of seduction could not be wiped out even after the death of this heretic, even though twelve clerics were sent there by the bishop.

These clerics, out of charity and forced by necessity, gave their church to Father Norbert and his confreres. They trusted that God, through the merits of Norbert and his confreres, would remove the fury of the deadly plague and, with the darkness of ignorance dispelled, would restore the light of truth.

Father Norbert applied life-giving medicine to the deadly wound. They began to sow the Word of God and offered the people words which were sweeter than honey. To the sick they served delicate food, and to the weak a bread that strengthened their hearts, and offered eternal life. Norbert told them: “Brothers, do not be afraid! Unwittingly you have pursued falsehood thinking it to be the truth. If you had been taught the truth first, you would have been found effortlessly tending towards salvation, just as you now effortlessly lean towards perdition.”

Some of the men and women, therefore, hearing these words and seeing the works which followed, were repentant, and returned bringing back the Body of the Lord which they had kept in little boxes for ten or fifteen or more years.

Who would not be astonished by this detestable crime? Who would say that it should not be committed to memory that the depraved seducer falsely led this people astray and that the pious preacher, Norbert, through his own work and that of his confreres, led them back to the way of truth and justice?

℣ Being found in the rugged paths of vice by the Guardian of the city,
℟ Stayed by lightning stroke, he put off the old man.

℣ He who was dead lives again;
℟ He who was lost is found.

℣ Having laid aside his earthly goods
℟ He put on the garment of poverty.

℣ When he found the valley of Prémontré, he cried:
℟ “This is the spot which the Lord has chosen for us.”

℣ What he preached in word, he fulfilled in deed
℟ Confirming the faithful by his miracles and wonderful actions.

℣ He entered Magdeburg barefoot
℟ And clothed in the garment of poverty

℣ Having given his support to the Holy Church of Rome in her afflictions,
℟ Blessing his brethren, he fell asleep in Christ.

Norbert, as a burning light placed on a candlestick, illumined all who dwelt with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

℣ Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
℟ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who did make of Blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an excellent preacher of the Word, and by his means did enrich Thy Church with new offspring, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his intercession we may put into practice, by Thy grace, what he taught us, both in word and work.

Awake, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop was guided, in order that, filled with the same spirit, we may love what he loved and live as he taught us.

O Lord, grant to us Thy servant’s constancy in Thy faith and service, that, rooted in Divine charity, we may not be conquered by any temptation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

℣ Praised be the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar
℟ And the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Posted in Novena to OHF Norbert

The Holy Rule and the Holy Habit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love.

℣ Send forth Thy Spirit, O Lord
℟ And Thou shall renew the face of the earth

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His holy consolations. Through Christ our Lord. ℟ Amen.

Norbertus witte kleed X028048

 

Norbert gathered together almost forty clerics and very many lay people at Prémontré, and he encouraged them morning and evening with continuous consolation, and urged them with many sermons not to abandon their good intention and the voluntary poverty which they had undertaken. In thought and speech, he flew to rest as a dove, and made his hearers take flight, so that with the prophet he seemed to say: “I shall take on wings as a dove and I shall fly and I shall rest.”

They entrusted themselves to him so much and they clung to him with such affectionate friendship that they sought no day order, no rule, no institutes of the Holy Fathers to obtain the glory of eternal joy except what they heard from his mouth or discovered he had said. But knowing this, Norbert, prudent and circumspect in all things, lest his holy institute falter in the future, and the foundation, which he intended to place on solid rock, totter, he advised them about a rule and the institutes of the Holy Fathers, without which the apostolic and evangelical way of life could not be completely observed.

Norbert, whose work and plans depended on heaven, entrusted his foundation neither to himself nor to others, but rather to Him who is the beginning of all things. He pondered these things in his heart, as a wise man who is quick to hear, but who defers and postpones until later.

Lest he seem to betray their canonical profession to which he and those who wished to live with him had been dedicated since their youth, Norbert ordered that the rule be adapted which the Blessed Augustine had established for his followers. He had heard that this way of life was ordained and renewed by this same blessed man after the Apostles. This rule was brought to him and he carefully studied it, and afterwards he explained explained himself in the common chapter: “I know one of the confreres of our profession who has seen the Blessed Augustine. He was researching our rule rather seriously, not on his own, but at the request of his confreres. Augustine with his right hand held out the golden rule. He made himself known to him clearly, saying, ‘I, whom you see, am Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Behold, you have the rule which I have written, under which, if your confreres, my sons, fight well, they will stand secure before Christ in the terror of the last judgement.’” Norbert told his story humbly as if about another. Nevertheless, it was he himself to whom this was revealed.

Immediately, on Christmas day in 1121, one by one they enrolled themselves under that rule into the city of blessed eternity for the sake of stability in place and profession.

The Holy Fathers teach that preachers and those following the canonical profession should be models of those angels who were the witnesses of the resurrection, and it is certain that these angels appeared in white, and those following canonical profession should not cause scandal regarding these white garments. Since also they are penitents, and if their duty forces them to go out among the people, they should not be opposed to woolen garments. But if they are going to enter the sanctuary, they should not fail to use linen, as was the custom in the old testament. Norbert did not teach this in order to detract from the other precepts of the Holy Fathers, of which there are many, but rather because he was shown these garments in a vision of the Queen of Heaven, who said to that just man: “My son Norbert, receive the white habit from my hands!”

℣ Being found in the rugged paths of vice by the Guardian of the city,
℟ Stayed by lightning stroke, he put off the old man.

℣ He who was dead lives again;
℟ He who was lost is found.

℣ Having laid aside his earthly goods
℟ He put on the garment of poverty.

℣ When he found the valley of Prémontré, he cried:
℟ “This is the spot which the Lord has chosen for us.”

℣ What he preached in word, he fulfilled in deed
℟ Confirming the faithful by his miracles and wonderful actions.

℣ He entered Magdeburg barefoot
℟ And clothed in the garment of poverty

℣ Having given his support to the Holy Church of Rome in her afflictions,
℟ Blessing his brethren, he fell asleep in Christ.

Norbert, as a burning light placed on a candlestick, illumined all who dwelt with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

℣ Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
℟ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who did make of Blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an excellent preacher of the Word, and by his means did enrich Thy Church with new offspring, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his intercession we may put into practice, by Thy grace, what he taught us, both in word and work.

Awake, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop was guided, in order that, filled with the same spirit, we may love what he loved and live as he taught us.

O Lord, grant to us Thy servant’s constancy in Thy faith and service, that, rooted in Divine charity, we may not be conquered by any temptation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

℣ Praised be the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar
℟ And the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Posted in Novena to OHF Norbert