OF noble rank and rare talents, Norbert passed a most pious On youth, and entered the ecclesiastical state. By a strange contradiction, his conduct now became a scandal to his sacred calling, and at the court of the emperor, Henry IV, he led, like many clerics of that age, a life of dissipation and luxury. One day, when he was thirty years of age, he was thrown half dead from his horse, and on recovering his senses, resolved upon a new life. After a severe and searching preparation, he was ordained priest, and began to expose the abuses of his Order. Silenced at first by a local council, he obtained the Pope’s sanction and preached penance to listening crowds in France and the Netherlands. In the wild vale of Premontre he gave to some trained disciples the rule of St. Austin, and a white habit to denote the angelic purity proper to the priesthood. The canons regular, or Premonstratensians, as they were called, were to unite the active work of the country clergy with the obligations of the monastic life. Their fervor renewed the spirit of the priesthood, quickened the faith of the people, and drove out heresy. A vile heretic, named Tankelin, appeared at Antwerp, in the time of St. Norbert, and denied the reality of the priesthood, and especially blasphemed the Blessed Eucharist. The Saint was sent for to drive out the pest. By his burning words, he exposed the impostor and rekindled the faith in the Blessed Sacrament. Many of the apostates had proved their contempt for the Blessed Sacrament by burying it in filthy places. Norbert bade them search for the Sacred Hosts. They found them entire and uninjured, and the Saint bore them back in triumph to the tabernacle. Hence he is generally painted with the monstrance in his hand. In 1126, Norbert found himself appointed Bishop of Magdeburg; and there, at the risk of his life, he zealously carried on his work of reform, and died, worn out with toil, at the age of fifty-three.

Bf saints 06 06 blog

REFLECTION: Reparation for the injuries offered to the Blessed Sacrament was the aim of St. Norbert’s great work of reform – in himself, in the clergy, and in the faithful. How much does our present worship repair for our own past irreverences, and for the outrages offered by others to the Blessed Eucharist?


NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Man’s capacity for knowing God by reason and apart from revelation. According to the First Vatican Council, “the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty by the light of human reason, from things that are made” (Denzinger 3004). Consequently human beings have the ability to know the one, true personal God who made the universe. The subjective means of obtaining this knowledge is human reason in the condition of fallen nature. The source of this knowledge is the world, bodily and spiritual, of created things. This knowledge can be certain and not merely probable.

The Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, also teaches that the existence of a personal God can be known from reflection on nature. Thus the Israelites were told, “Through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures, we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author” (Wisdom 13:5), and according to St. Paul, “ever since God created the world, His everlasting power and deity–however invisible–have been there for the mind to see in the things He has made” (Romans 1:20).

Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)

This article, JUNE 6 – ST. NORBERT, BISHOP. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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