In the month of October

2 October: Edmond Mclot was 15 years old when he entered the abbey of Pont-à-Mousson in 1656. He was philosophy professor and theology professor as well as prior in Nancy and Bucilly as well as Definitor of the congregation of Lorraine. In 1685 he was made abbot of Etanche. He life was marked by a great devotion to study and a keen piety, particularly devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

3 October: Gottschalk van Nieuwenhuyzen was a canon of Tongerlo. He was appointed parish priest in Diest and died after ministering to the victims of the plague in that town.

4 October: Robert Picavet – abbot of Saint Augustine’s in Thérouanne from 1546 to 1559. He guided the abbey through the difficult political struggles which caused great trial for the community and destruction of a large part of the buildings.

5 October: Eustachius von Lens, a doctor of theology and canon of Vicogne. In 1229 he became abbot of Valsery and Valchrétien, in 1240 he resigned this difficult post to devote himself once again to study. Two of his works are known to us: “In hymnos ab O. Praem. receptos” and “In regulam Sancti Augustini “, dedicated to Gervase, the then Abbot General.

6 October: Giselbert, founder of the abbey of Tongerlo.

7 October: Henry Friessen was born on 27 September 1672 in Cologne, and joined the Abbey of Steinfeld, where he  took his vows on 2 July 1692 . He became the master of novices. His whole appearance betrayed the purity of his conscience. He asked God to be allowed to suffer in this world, to escape purgatory, and his prayers seem to have been answered. Although he was plagued by many sufferings, he bore them all with constancy, he also wrote several small-scale works which were printed in Cologne. This holy Premonstratensians died on 7 October 1741.

9 October: Robert, the nephew of King Henry I of England  was a canon of St. Martin’s in Laon. With the founding of Marienweerd, Robert led a group of canons from Laon to colonise that abbey. A humble and simple canon who practiced severe penances, he was known especially for his ardent keeping of the Rule. He died on 9 October 1170.

12 October: Gottfried: When Count Ludwig von Arnstein and his wife Guda converted their castle into a canonry in 1139 they wished it to be colonised by Premonstratensians . Gottfried was at the head of those who came to Arnstein. Prior to his time as he was a canon at the Cathedral of Magdeburg, and a disciple of St. Norbert. He was a reliable and pious man. In 1151, he went to Prémontré to attend the General Chapter, but he died on the way there on 12  October 1151 at the Abbey of Wadgassen, where he was also interred. It was only much later that they transferred his remains to Arnstein.

The Sisters of Zukowo

The Sisters of Zukowo

12 October: Sisters of Zukowo: In 1209 Prince Mestevin I of Pomerania founded the church and monastery of Zukowo, colonised by the Premonstratensian canonesses of Strzelno. On October 12, 1224 the Prussians attacked. Ten sisters testified to their faith and their love for God, as they were killed by the invaders on the hill behind the river Radunia. Their names were: Miloslawa, Benedicta, Eva, Miroslawa, Cecilia, Sophia Euphemia Bogudaja, Euphrosyne and Elizabeth. They were buried at the place of martyrdom, where a chapel was also built, so that their memory would be preserved.

13 October: Peter Adrian Toulorge was a canon of Blancheland. Fled to Jersey at the outbreak of the French Revolution and thence returned to minister to souls. Arrest and tried for his Catholic faith. Martyred at the guillotine at Coutances on 13th October 1793.

15 October: Joachim Gieteler was born in 1559 in Waldsee and attended the school of the canonry of Roth. He began his novitiate there in 1587. After various appointments he was elected prelate of his monastery. He was noted for his great devotion to the Blessed Vrigin and wrote a number of spiritual works. He died in 1631.

18 October: Francis Du Boullonay was abbot of Mondaye from 1587 to 1631. he revived the community both in financial and spiritual ways and restored the abbey church.

18 October: Raso Goetghebuer was a canon of Drongon where he made his vows in 1473 and was already prior by 1480. From 1485 until 1490 he was abbot. He then resigned to become master of novices at Steinfeld where he wrote a work on the life of St. Hermann Joseph. He died in 1509 from the plague and reassured a novice who was worry about his own death that he would live to pray at Raso’s grave.

18 October: Servatius De Lairvelz was born in 1580 in Soignies and entered the Abbey of St. Paul at Verdun, where his uncle was prior. Servatius accompanied Abbot General Loiseleur on his visitations almost everywhere. When he returned after his graduation to Verdun, it seemed as if he had led in Paris, where he had studied, a not exactly regulated and edifying life. Servatius was converted through a serious illness, his first concern now was the restoration of monastic discipline among the brethren. Because of their limited assent, he wanted to leave the Order – an idea that he dropped, on the advice of the Jesuit André Anselm. In 1596 he became adviser to Abbot General Longpré, who appointed him his vicar, and entrusted him with visitation trips to Eastern Europe. Slowly matured in him the conviction that a more radical reform and a return to the austerity of the first statutes would be necessary, so the reform of Lorraine was born. Servatius was appointed coadjutor bishop of St. Daniel Picart-Marie-au-Bois in 1600. In 1603 he published at the request of the Abbot General, “Optica Regulars,” an idealized image of community and religious life. It is probably right to say that Servatius was a great influence on the spiritual life of the Order and he was always faithful to the Premonstratensians traditions, but alsoincluded elements of Jesuit spirituality.
Serviatius De Laivelz died on 18 October 1631 at the age of 71 years.

20 October: Firmin D’Analet was a canon of the Abbey of St André au Bois. In 1595 Calvinists wrought much destruction in the region of Artois and the abbey was plundered and burnt. Firmin was captured by the heretics and endured many tortures heroically. He was tied upside down to a post whilst flames danced around him. Later he was brought half-dead to Dünkirchen where he was incarcerated together with James Lemarie where he was ruthlessly compelled to renounce his faith. He was ransomed by those loyal to church, though all his life suffered the pains of his tortures.

Blessed James Kern

Blessed James Kern

20 October: Blessed James Kern 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.

21 October: Rose of Bonlieu, foundress of the Archconfraternity of the Mass of Reparation.

23 October: Luke of Montcornillon was recruited by Norbert from the school in Laon in 1120, Luke fast became one of Norbert’s first followers and disciples. In 1124 he was sent to Belgium from Floreff and established the community at Mont Cornillon where he was about for some thirty five years. He was the author of two works on the Song of Songs; a commentary and a reflection on the moral teaching of the book. These works were dedicated to Hugh of Fosse and Milo. Luke suffered very much from physical ailments which led him to a great devotion to the sufferings of Our Lady.


St. Gilbert

St. Gilbert

26 October: Saint Gilbert was a crusader knight who had survived the Second Crusade and upon his return to Europe resolved to consecrate his life to the service of God. He immediately distributed much of his personal wealth to the poor and needy and thence financed the construction of an abbey for Norbertine nuns. His wife Petronilla and his daughter Pontia both entered this abbey and Gilbert himself entered the Order at our abbey of Dilo. He later built the abbey of Neuffontaines in 1150 and became its first abbot, overseeing the construction of an infirmary that became famed for the miracles wrought there. Gilbert personally ministered to the sick who came to abbey for physical and spiritual healing and as a sign of his humility was buried in the part of the abbey cemetery reserved for the sick who died there. When his cult grew, his body was moved into the abbey and today’s feast marks the translation of his relics. Neuffontaintes abbey was suppressed in 1790, following certain Gallacian reforms, and his relics translated to a parish church for safekeeping. They were never found again.

26 October: John Pelgrim was a Premonstratensian of the Abbey of St. Nicholas in Veurne, Belgium. When, in 1578 a group of Protestant heretics held a group of canons from the abbey, John refused to be separated from his brethren and so offered himself to the leader of the cohort, ready to die for his brethren. He was thrown in prison and upon his release he went to the church of St. Walburga in the city of Veurne. At the age of 70 he returned to his abbey and was a model of obedience, leaving the monastery only when compelled to do so by his superiors. Despite physical sufferings he spent many hours kneeling in prayer and after leading an exemplary life died in 1620.


Blessed Ricura

Blessed Ricura

29 October: Ricura: A woman of noble birth and marriage, Blessed Ricuera became the first Premonstratensian nun when in 1121 she received the veil at the hand of Our Holy Father Norbert. At Prémontré she laboured in that hospice established by Norbert to care for the sick and weary. Stopped a fire which would have otherwise destroyed the abbey by making a sign of the cross. Worn out by her labours she died in 1136 and at once her grave became the site of miracles, most notably for the miraculous flowers that grew there.

30 October: Norbert Marstaller. Abbot. Norbert, canon of Steingaden, received his ecclesiastical education in the abbey of Pont-à-Mousson under the direction of Servatius De Lairvelz. As a result he was appointed novice  master of the common novitiate of the Bavarian Circary – a function which he also exercised after his election as abbot of Steingaden in 1623. He took part in the translation of the relics of Our Holy Father Norbert from Magdeburg to Strahov. When in 1632 the Swedes raged in Bavaria, he remained with his brethren and supported them throughout the thirteen years of strife. He had a great devotion to the Immaculate Mother, whom he invoked as ‘Mother of Mercy’. He died in 1645.

31 October: Friedrich Herlet was born in Niederlauer, Friedrich was first a secular priest and a doctor of theology. At Wurzburg he was an advisor to the Bishop and oversaw the junior seminary. Inspired by god, at the age of forty he divested himself of all worldly affectations and embraced poverty in the Premonstratensian Order. He entered the abbey of Oberzell where he led such an edifying life that he was at once appointed Novice Master, Circator and Sup-Prior, later he was made provost of the Premonstratensian nuns at Unterzell. He wrote a number of works relating to the Order, most notably the Solitudo Norbertina; a work that contains spiritual exercises much influenced by those of the Jesuits but itself a synthesis between the Jesuit method and Norbertine spirituality. His other works were deeply pastoral and contained sound advice for religious. He died on 31st October 1718, having faithfully served as Provost some ten years. 

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