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Friday 20 May |
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Saint of the Day: Bl Notker “the Stammerer”

Medieval Monk and Hymnwriter

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© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0

Monk (ca.840-912)

His life

+ Notker was born in Switzerland and studied in the celebrated monastery school in the Abbey of Saint Gall. He later became a monk in this monastery and later served as librarian and guest mater.

+ It was as a teacher in the monastery school that Notker achieved a certain notoriety, particularly because of his gifts as a poet and author.

+ Because of a speech defect, he came to be known as Notker Balbulus (“the Stammerer”).

+ Notker’s written works include a martyrology (a list of saints honored in his community), an account of the life of Saint Columba (whose monastic disciples founded the abbey of Saint Gall), and nearly fifty liturgical hymns and sequences.

+ Blessed Notker died in 912 and devotion to him was confirmed in 1513. Today, he is honored as a heavenly patron of musicians and of those living with speech impediments.

For prayer and reflection

[The Lord] puts a new song in my mouth,

a hymn to our God.

Many shall look on in fear

and they shall trust in the Lord.”—Psalm 40:4

Prayer

O God, who have bestowed on us paschal remedies,
endow your people with heavenly gifts,
so that, possessed of perfect freedom,
they may rejoice in heaven
over what gladdens them now on earth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Collect for Tuesday in the Octave of Easter)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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