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.
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.