November 13th marks the memorial of all the saints and beati of our Order and all the saints and beati of all orders of canons regular. Aside from St. Norbert there are at present fifteen saints of our Order who have been canonised or have had their immemorial cults confirmed by the Holy See. First amongst them Our Holy Father Norbert takes his place, along with Our Holy Father Augustine he is held in veneration by members of the Premonstratensian Order as father and founder of the Order. during St. Norbert’s lifetime he attracted many disciples who attained a high degree of sanctity – Blessed Hugh of Fosse (†1164) was the first abbot of Prémontré and laboured to consolidate the administrative and liturgical dimension of the new order. Another of St. Norbert’s first disciples was St. Evermode (†1178), a faithful follower and beloved friend of our holy father. He was present at Norbert’s death and was to become bishop of Ratzeburg, doing much for the conversion of the Wends. St. Evermode was followed in the office of bishop of Ratzeburg by another Premonstratensian; St. Isfrid (†1195) was known for his power of physical healings, especially in regard to the blind. A third Premonstratensian bishop of Ratzeburg was St. Ludolph (†1250); Ludolph vigorously defended the rights of the Church and was imprisioned, dying a martyr’s death for the liberty and exaltation of our holy Mother, the Church.
Another early companion of St. Norbert was St. Godfrey (†1127). Godfrey met St. Norbert in 1121 and was so affected by this meeting that he gave all his wealth for the founding of new houses of the Order – he and his wife both later entered the Order. St. Gilbert (†1152) was another knight who donated all his wealth for the service of the Order, establishing convents and monasteries and himself gaining a reputation for great holiness. Blessed Hroznata (†1217) was also a distinuighed member of the nobility who grew weary of life and the world and devoted his life to the service of God in the Order of Prémontré. The way of the Cross is one of sacrifice and Hroznata was to die a martyr for the Church.
Not all of our saints were bishops and nobles! Many lived out the path of sanctity in obscurity as members of the many hundreds of houses of our Order that have existed. St. Frederick (†1175) was a teacher, pastor and abbot and is much invoked by Norbertine students preparing for examinations. St. Frederick was the abbot of another of our saints; St. Siard (†1230) received the white habit from his hands and was later also to become abbot. His life of penance and selfless charity earned for him the crown of everlasting life. One of our most beloved saints is St. Hermann Joseph (†1241), known for his great simplicity of life and love of Our Lady. He gave his all in the service of God and His Holy Mother and left beautiful spiritual and devotional writings. From the ranks of our canonesses we find Blessed Gertrude (†1297) and Blessed Bronislava (†1259). Gertrude was the daughter of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Bronislava was a relation of St. Hyacinth. They were both models of great inspiration to their sisters and persevered over adversity to shrine forth as perfect examples of the religious life.
All of our saints and beati were called to lead lives of sacrifice. During the era of the Reformation many members of our Order were called to give the ultimate sacrifice of their life for upholding the truth of the Catholic Faith. Two members of our Order who were called to glorify Christ with the ultimate sacrifice were the matryrs of Gorcum; SS. Adrian and James (†1572) who died in defence of the the doctrines of the Primacy of the Pope and the True Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. In more modern times the Austrian priest, Blessed James Kern (†1924) offered his life and sufferings in reparation for the apostacy of another priest.
There are also many hundreds of members of our Order who have been venerated throughout history – for a list please see this page.
At present there are also a number of causes for canonisation of members of our Order which are active; Peter-Adrian Toulorge (†1793) was a martyr of the French Revolution, John O’Mulkern (†1580) was an Irish abbot executed for the Faith, Abbot Paulus Soucek, Prior Laurentius Novotny, Fr. Norbert Hrachovsky, Fr. Sigismund Zabehlicky and Fr. Siard Nevrkla were all put to death by the Nazis in the concentration camp at Auschwitz and Emily Podoska (†1889) was an exemplary canoness at Krakow. The web-site of the Postulator of our Order can be found here.
For a list of other saints and beati of canonical orders other than our own, please visit this site, maintained by the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at Klosterneuberg.
All Saints of the Order of Prémontré, pray for us!
All Saints of the canonical orders, pray for us!