In the month of September

2nd September: Ausculpus – of the abbey of Valsecret. Having studied at the university of Cologne, where he took doctorates in theology and canon law, he was called to Prémontré to fulfil the role of prior. Later, because of his education and piety he was called upon to aid the new foundation at Joyenval. A friend of King Ludwig, he died in 1227.

4 September: On this day the first missionaries from the abbey of Tongerlo set out for the Belgian Congo in 1898.

5 September: Gerbrand, fourth abbot of Dokkum in Holland. A friend of St. Louis IXth and a supporter of the crusades. He encouraged the Frisians to join the crusade and as a result of his zeal was awarded by Pope Clement IV in 1268 the title of  ‘dux militiae sacrae’. He died during the General Chapter at Prémontré in 1267 and soon afterward a pious nun received a vision of his ascent into heaven.

9 September: Ortholdus, first prior of Schlaegl who died on this day in 1242.

10 September: Joseph Tausch. A lay brother of the abbey of Steingaden. He held familiar conversation with the Holy Souls, for whom he constantly interceded. On the day of his death, around 1670, he was praying for the Holy Souls before the cross when the Angelus bell rang and, having announced his impending death to the convent, he expired.

12 September: Christoph Outers. Born in 1574, he entered the abbey of Grimbergen in 1593. Even as a juniour he wrote a life of St. Norbert and in 1613 was elected abbot. He a strict abbot, encouraging discipline and poverty and did not approve of the canons leaving the cloister except for serious reasons. Yet he was also kindly to his confreres. With himself he was unsparing and was relentless in his self-mortification. He was greatly devoted to both St. Augustine and Our Lady. He died on this day in 1647 and was laid before the altar of St. Norbert.

12 September: Hayto or Macarius. A descendent of the royal family of Armenia and a canon of Bellapais (Cyprus)

13 September: Eugenius Simonffy. born in 1885 in Söjtör in 1904, and entered the Norbertine abbey of Csorna. After his studies at the University of Budapest, he was ordained priest in 1909. For ten years he advised the youth in the schools that the monastery ran. In Szombathely he later taught Cardinal Mindszenty as a student and thus were the Premonstratensians linked forever to the wise and long suffering prelate who was always grateful andpraised the virtues of Eugene, with whom he was a good friend. In 1935 he became director of the College in Szombathely. Cardinal Seredi summoned him in 1941 to Budapest, and entrusted him with authority over the Catholic schools. After the death of Abbot Steiner 1942 Abbot General Noots appointed him to be Administrator of the Abbey. At his installation, he would say: “I’ve never let myself be influenced by egoism or my own interest. I always had the welfare of our Order and the love of my brethren in mind.” Abbot Eugenius had guided his house during the difficult time of the Nazi occupation and then in 1945-1946 the communists occupied the country and took ownership of the monasteries. Despite everything Eugenius Simonffy decided in 1947 to increase the apostolate of the abbey and, by the consent of his brothers, founded a college in Csorna. But now one test followed another. In 1948, the so-called People’s Republic laid hands on all the Catholic schools. In 1949 Abbot Eugenius accepted that his priests should be sent to various parishes. In 1950 the abbey was suppressed by the Communists, and the religious orders were forced to leave their monasteries. During these times, Eugenius had allowed seven brave brothers to leave the country and go abroad to continue the traditions of Csorna, and these canons founded the Abbey of Orange in California. Eugenius himself was lodged in the Bishop’s House in Gyor, where he could teach in the minor seminary. After the bombardment of this institute he was also devoted to the study of medieval Archives of Hungary, which testify the glorious history of the Order in Hungary. He died at the library in Gyor on this day in 1954.

15 September: Dominik Urtica. Professed as a canon of Strahov in 1618, he was later sent as pastor and dean in the city of Tabor. During the wars of religious he was much persecuted by the Protestants who tortured him. He died a saintly death in Milevsko in 1665 and was known amongst the people for his great devotion to Our Lady.

18 September: Michael von Male. From 1567-78 the abbot of Ninove. During the spread of the errors of the Reformation he defended the Catholic cause through his preaching and writings. When the Protestants took possession of the abbey the religious fled to Brussels where, in 1578, Michael died of plague. 

19 September: Urban Pregius. A canon of the abbey of Ursberg. A model of the canonical life to his brethren and known for his many penances and mortifications. He was known as a ‘living martyr’. Always gentle and kind to those who mocked his piety.

22 September: Giezo. A canon of Cologne, after which he entered the abbey of Steinfeld. Zdik Henry, the bishop of Olomouc had resolved to bring Premonstratensians to Prague after meeting canons of Windberg. Eberwin, the provost of Steinfeld, sent a number of his religious, headed by Giezo to Strahov in Prague, there to establish a house of the Order. Giezo was the first abbot of this new foundation from 1143-1160. Known as a man of great authority and erudition.

23 September: Elizabeth. Canonness of Füssenich who was gifted with many revelations. During a Mass celebrated by St. Hermann Joseph he beheld Christ on his right and the Blessed Virgin on his left. Through her prayers his life was extended for nine years. She died in 1200.

25 September: The date of the departure of the first missionaries sent to India from the abbey of Berne.

27 September: Martyrs of Magdeburg. Adam Helfenstein von Knechtsteden was the last Catholic provost of the abbey of Magdeburg, he died on Easter Sunday in 1597. Though a Norbertine was elected to succeed him, Lutheran present attempted to force him to sign a profession of faith contrary to the Catholic religion. Whilst the dispute raged on the canons sat down to dinner, during which their food was poisoned by the Lutherans.

Henry

Henry

28 September: Gervase. An Englishman, he was a canon of the Abbey of St.-Just-en-Chaussée, and from 1199 to 1205 abbot, he was then from 1205 to 1209 the abbot of Thenailles and from 1209 to 1220 the abbot of Prémontré. In 1220 he was appointed Bishop of Séez. Gervasius distinguished himself by his talent, his knowledge and his eloquence, he was an able and energetic man, as bishop he retained his modesty and would frequently retire to the solitude of the Premonstratensian abbey at Silly, in his diocese. At the Forth Lateran Council he earned the goodwill of Pope Innocent III. His writings reveal a deep and burning loving of the Church and the holy Catholic religion. He died on this day in 1228 and was buried at Silly.

28 September: Blessed Henry. A faithful companion of St. Norbert on his mission to Antwerp. First abbot of Tongerlo from 1133-1150. In iconography he speaks the dictum ‘quod non vides, firmat fides’.
 
29 September: Martyrs of Valsery. Canons martyred during the Calvinist attack on Soissons.
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