Servant of God and Norbert

Today’s Word:

May your priests be clothed with justice; let your faithful ones shout merrily for joy. (Psalm 132:9)


On This Date…

hugh_stained_st_norberts

On Feburary 10, 1164, 850 years ago today, Abbot Hugh of Fosses died at the Norbertine Abbey of Prémontré in France at age 70.

He had first met Saint Norbert on March 26, 1119, and was deeply affected by Norbert’s words and way of life. He joined the first Norbertine community in 1121 at Prémontré where he was appointed “prior” (Norbert’s assistant).

When Saint Norbert was made an archbishop in 1126, Hugh was elected as the first abbot, serving until his death. He built the first monastery and the abbey church. Under his guidance, the number of Norbertine monasteries grew to 126.

Prémontré Abbey by Tavernier de Joniquières.

Prémontré Abbey by Tavernier de Joniquières.

Hugh wrote one of the biographies of Saint Norbert. He was gentle and humble of heart. He never used the title abbot, rather servant of God and Norbert.

With the closing of Prémontré during the French Revolution, Abbot Hugh’s remains were safely hidden. In 2010, they were moved to Norbertine Generalate in Rome. On July 13, 1927, Pope Pius XI confirmed the cult of Blessed Hugh.

Today at Mass we pray, “May your priests be clothed with justice; let your faithful ones shout merrily for joy.” We are joyful because of the life and service of Blessed Hugh.

Peace on Earth

Today’s Word:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom God’s favor rests. (Luke 2:14)

Missa in Nocte: Introit, Norbertine Fathers of Saint Michael’s Abbey


On this Date…

Ruins of Chapel of Saint John the Baptist

Ruins of Chapel of Saint John the Baptist

On December 25, 1121, Saint Norbert together with about 40 companions professed religious vows in the little chapel of Saint John Baptist in Prémontré, France. And so was born the Norbertine Order.

Saint Norbert asked his companions to live by the Rule of Saint Augustine. According to the biography of Saint Norbert, “By the profession of this Rule, on Christmas Day, one by one they voluntarily enrolled themselves into that city of blessed eternity.”

At Mass today, we heard these words: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom God’s favor rests.” May God’s peace, which rested on Saint Norbert and those first Norbertines, also rest on us this Christmas Day.

– Father McLaughlin