Today we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Norbert.
Here's what you need to know...
STOP HORSING AROUND
St. Norbert of Xanten was born around the year 1080.
He was born into nobility and was well educated.
Through the influence of his family he obtained a financial subsidy from the local church when he accepted ordination to the subdeaconate. Norbert was lax in his clerical duties and was known to get carried away seeking pleasure.
But, this all changed one day while riding his horse. He found himself overtaken by a storm. A thunderbolt fell at his horse's feet. The frightened horse tossed Norbert off and for nearly an hour he layed unconscious on the ground. His scrape with death humbled Norbert. He renounced his position and committed himself to prayer and penance.
A SAINT RISES
Under the direction of Cono, Abbot of St Sigeberg, Norbert was ordained into the priesthood at the age of 35.
In 1120, following orders from Pope Callixtus II, Norbert founded a religious Order known as the Praemonstratensians or the Norbertines. His founding of the Order was a monumental task: combating rampant heresies—particularly regarding the Blessed Sacrament, revitalizing many of the faithful who had grown indifferent to the faith.
While traveling to obtain relics for their new church, Norbert is said to have discovered, through a dream, the spot where those of Saint Ursula and her companions, of Saint Gereon, and of other martyrs lay hidden.
TWO POPES AND A NORBERT
In 1126 Pope Honorius II appointed Norbert the Archbishop of Magdeburg, where he put into practice the precepts he instituted in his order.
Several assassination attempts were made as he began to reform the lax discipline of his see.
In the schism following the election of Pope Innocent II in 1130, Norbert supported Innocent and resisted Antipope Anacletus II. Norbert even persuaded Lothair II, the Holy Roman Emperor, to lead an army in 1133 to Rome to restore Innocent to the papacy.
Shorty after, Norbert died in 1134.
Saint Norbert was canonized by Pope Gregory XIII in the year 1582, and his statue appears above the Piazza colonnade of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
His defense of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and his success in resolving conflicts earned him the titles "Apostle of the Blessed Sacrament" and "Peacemaker".
His Feast Day is today, June 6th.
Happy Feast Day!
St. Norbert, ora pro nobis.