St. Norbert of Magdeburg (Feast: June 6)
Norbert was born in the year 1080 in Xanten, Germany, to a noble and wealthy family.
Norbert lived a life of pleasure until one day he lost consciousness after being thrown from his horse during a thunderstorm. He awoke an hour later, and said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” “Turn from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it,” came the heavenly reply.
After his conversion, Norbert pursued the priesthood and was ordained in 1115. He received special permission from the Pope to preach the Gospel wherever he chose.
Finding himself at Prémontré in France, Norbert founded a community under the rule of St. Augustine, with the sanction of the Holy See. At first, Norbert had only thirteen followers but the numbers increased to forty by 1121 and by 1125, eight abbeys and two convents had been established.
In 1126, Norbert was chosen Archbishop of Magdeburg. He struggled to reform the clergy, many of whom were leading careless lives, and ultimately succeeded in his reformation endeavors.
Four years later, he defended Pope Innocent II, whose claim to the papacy was threatened by Antipope Anacletus II. Norbert won over the hierarchy of the Church in Germany to Innocent’s cause and influenced the German King Lothar to defend Innocent.
Norbert died in Magdeburg in 1134 at the age of fifty-three. He was formally recognized as a saint by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.
SAINT OF THE DAY
Here we discover something akin to the “Secret of Mary,” of which Saint Louis de Montfort speaks.