Tag Archives: St. Norbert

Thunderstruck: The Conversion and Life of St. Norbert

St._Norbert_Today the Church celebrates the feast of the founder of the Norbertines, St. Norbert of Xanten. St. Norbert grew up enjoying worldly pleasures, however, after experiencing a dramatic conversion went on to bring the light of Christ into the world through his life as a religious priest and bishop.

St. Norbert was born in the latter half of the eleventh century in present-day Germany. He was the son of a count and enjoyed worldly pursuits during his youth. One day, however, St. Norbert was thrown from his horse when a sudden bolt of lightning caused his horse to buck him off his saddle during a terrible storm. This incident spurred a great conversion within the young man and he sought the guidance of a local abbot.

Following his conversion, St. Norbert pursued a priestly vocation and was ordained in Cologne. He quickly became a well-known itinerant preacher and gathered disciples who joined him in working for the salvation of souls. This group grew large and St. Norbert was unsure of what the Lord wanted them to do.

20160213_solemn_profession_8327This uncertainty ended when, according to Bl. Hugh of Fosses, St. Augustine appeared to St. Norbert and said, “I, whom you see, am Augustine, bishop of Hippo. Behold, you have the rule which I have written, under which, if your confreres, my sons, fight well, they will stand secure before Christ in the terror of the last judgment.” Following the apparition, St. Norbert and his first disciples made their religious profession on Christmas Day 1121.

The order quickly grew and now the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey continue the work of their founder. The Norbertine Fathers lead lives of communal prayer and care for souls in Southern California. Their primary mission is to consecrate the entire day to God but also have many apostolates including running a preparatory school for young men. Steeped in 900 years of tradition, the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey continue to lead lives fashioned after their founder, St. Norbert of Xanten.

Oh Priest, Who Are You?

On this Holy Thursday when we thank God for the institution of the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Orders, it is good to recall this meditation on the priesthood by St. Norbert:

norbertO Priest, who are you?

You are not yourself, because you are God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.

You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.

You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.

O Priest!

Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!’

Patron Saint of Peace

Happy Feast of St. Norbert who is the patron saint of peace and the founder of the Norbertine Order.

Why the Patron Saint of Peace?

Well, one day while Norbert was traveling by horseback, he was struck by lightning and lay in a stupor for quite some time. Like Saul, he heard these words as spoken from the Lord: “Turn away from evil, and do good: seek after peace, and pursue it.”

That about sums up the Christian life!

For more information about the life of St. Norbert, visit the EWTN website or the Norbertines of St. Michael Abbey, Silverado, California..

Feast of St. Norbert

June 6th is the Feast Day of St. Norbert. May the Norbertines around the world be blessed by their most saintly founder, St. Norbert.

The five ends of the Norbertines are:

1) Laus Dei in choro (the singing of the Divine Office)

2) Zelus animarum (zeal for the salvation of souls)

3) Spiritus jugis pœnitentiæ (the spirit of habitual penance)

4) Cultus Eucharisticus (a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist)

5) Cultus Marianus (a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin)

Check out the Norbertine website of St. Michael’s Abbey (a thriving IRL Affiliate Community) in Silverado, CA, and the Norbertine Canonesses website as well which is a new community of nuns.