On This Date in Norbertine History…
On April 22, 1834, Abbot John Baptist L’Ecuy, O.Praem., died in Paris at age 94. He entered the Abbey of Prémontré at age 20. He served as Abbot from 1780 until 1791 when the abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution. He was the last abbot of Prémontré.
Abbot L’Ecuy’s heart is kept next to the tomb of Saint Norbert in Strahov Abbey in Prague, Czech Republic. His remains are in the Norbertine Abbey of Mondaye in Normandy, France.
On April 22, 1945, Father Bernard David, O.Praem., died in the prison camp at Terezin at age 29. He had entered the Norbertine Abbey of Zeliv in the Czech Republic at age 21 and was ordained a priest at age 26. He was arrested by the Gestapo on February 20, 1945.
His fellow prisoners spoke about his extraordinary love of neighbor and his great patience. He is listed among the group of martyrs of the 20th century, compiled at the request of Pope John Paul II.
I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
On April 22, 1970, Earth Day was first held in San Francisco, California. In 1979, Pope John Paul II named Saint Francis of Assisi as patron of ecology, calling him “an example of genuine and deep respect for the integrity of creation.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” May we care for the abundant life on God’s good earth, and one day experience eternal life with Abbot John Baptist L’Ecuy and Father Bernard David, O.Praem.
– Father McLaughlin