Norbertines Foundation in Germany: Feast of Saint Godfrey

Today’s Word:

I know who you are – the Holy One of God. (Mark 1:24)


On This Date…

godfrey2

Saint Godfrey.

January 14 is the feast day for Norbertine Saint Godfrey. He was born into wealth and nobility, and married his wife, Jutta, in his early 20s.

Godfrey met Saint Norbert in 1121 in Cologne, Germany, and he was immediately inspired by Norbert’s life and preaching. After Saint Norbert professed his vows on December 25, 1121, Godfrey handed over his castle to Norbert on May 31, 1122 for the first Norbertine foundation in Germany.

bouillon_castle

Castle of Bouillon.

Godfrey and Jutta both became Norbertines as did Godfrey’s younger brother Otto. They cared for the poor and the sick in the hospital attached to the castle. Godfrey took ill on his way home from visiting Norbert in Magdeburg, Germany, and died on January 13, 1127 at age 30.

In today’s Gospel, a possessed man said to Jesus, “I know who you are – the Holy One of God.” We give thanks for Saint Godfrey, a “holy one of God.”

– Father McLaughlin

Tomb of Saint Norbert at Strahov Abbey

On May 2, 1627, Saint Norbert’s casket was carried in procession into the Church of the Assumption in Strahov Abbey in Prague, Czech Republic. There, it was enthroned in a place of honor above the abbey’s side altar.

Tomb of Saint Norbert

Tomb of Saint Norbert, Strahov Abbey

The festivities in Prague lasted for a whole week, with numerous miracles reported and many people reconciled to the faith.

Saint Norbert was originally buried in Magdeburg, Germany at the time of his death in 1134. His body remained there until it was exhumed on December 3, 1626. His bones were still intact in their original position, and the skin on his face and head was still fresh.

The face of Saint Nobert appears on one side of the Archmere school ring, together with the words, “prepared for every good work.”

– Father McLaughlin