On 20th October the calendar of the Order marks the memoria of Blessed James Kern. James was a canon and priest of the Norbertine Abbey in Geras, Austria. He had been training at a diocesan seminary at the outbreak of the First World War when he was drafted into the Army. during his time of active service Blessed James was badly wounded and his afflictions would cause his continuing physical pain throughout his life. Despite these sufferings James returned to the seminary at the end of the War and proceeded with his studies. At the same time a Norbertine canon, Bogumil Zahradnik had become a leader of the schismatical Czech National Church. James was moved to offer himself to the Norbertine Order in atonement for the sins of this priest and he was duly accepted as a novice at Geras. ordained priest in 1922 James continued to bear his pains with great courage and determination, all without a word of complaint. He entered into his priestly ministry with great enthusiasm, especially in hearing his confession and his work with young people. After many struggles, physical and spiritual, James went to his eternal reward on October 20th 1924. He was beatified by John Paul II on June 21st 1998.
For more information on Blessed James please read Herman Joseph Weidinger’s book, available here.