Bishop and Founder (1080-1134)
+ Norbert was born to a noble family near Cologne, Germany. As a young man he served as the emperor’s almoner, although he was technically a cleric.
+ A worldly pleasure-seeker in his early life, Norbert experienced a profound conversion and was ordained a priest in 1115. A short time later, he settled in the valley of Premontre in northern France. Within a few months, he was joined by other men and, on Christmas Day, 1121, the group made religious vows, forming a new religious order: The Canons Regular of Premontre (commonly known as the Norbertines).
+ Norbert’s new order brought together the monks’ love of the liturgy and the diocesan clergy’s commitment to pastoral ministry. Norbertines continue this way of life throughout the world today.
+ In 1126, Norbert was appointed archbishop of Magdeburg. As bishop, he continued to live as a religious and he worked for reform of the clergy and for the unity of the Church. He was known for his great love of the Eucharist and is often shown carrying a monstrance or ciborium.
+ Saint Norbert died in 1134 and was canonized in 1582.
As Norbert formed his order, he chose the ancient Rule of Saint Augustine, placing his new community within the branch of religious life called “canons regular.”
“Proclaim the message, in season and out of season; refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience; endure all hardships and spread the Gospel.”—2 Timothy 4:2, 5
To learn more about the Norbertine communities of men in the United States:
-St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin: https://www.norbertines.org/
-Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, Pennsylvania: www.daylesford.org
-Priory of St. Moses the Black in Raymond, Mississippi: www.stmosestheblackpriory.org
-St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California: https://stmichaelsabbey.com/
-Santa Maria de La Vid Abbey in Albuquerque, New Mexico: www.norbertinecommunity.org
To learn more about the Norbertine community of women in the United States:
-Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph in Tehachapi, California: www.norbertinesisters.org
O God, who made the Bishop Saint Norbert a servant of your Church outstanding in his prayer and pastoral zeal, grant, we ask, that by the help of his intercession, the flock of the faithful may always find shepherds after your own heart and be fed in the pastures of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.