I Will Give You Rest

Today’s Word:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)

On This Date…

On July 14, 1217 Brother Hroznata, a Norbertine of the Abbey of Tepl in the Czech Republic, died of starvation in prison at age 47; he was confined there by men trying to steal the abbey’s property.  He married as a young man but after his wife and young child died, he offered his lands and possessions to the Norbertine Order for the foundation of an abbey; he joined Tepl in 1202. His cult as a martyr was confirmed by Rome in 1897. Blessed Hroznata is buried above an altar in the Abbey of Tepl.

On July 14, 1789 a large crowd of Parisians captured the Bastille, an old fortress used as a prison. Since then, the people of France have celebrated July 14 as their national holiday (like July 4th). Tonight some who had gathered in Nice, France for fireworks lost their lives in an attack.

On July 14 the Church honors Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized a saint (in 2012); she had smallpox as a child, causing poor eyesight and an unsteady walk. She was baptized at age 20 and received First Holy Communion at age 21. She died in 1680 at age 24.

As we remember Blessed Hroznata, Saint Kateri, and those who struggle for freedom and peace, we can take to heart Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest”.

– 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

Earth Day 2013

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.

Today’s Word:

I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
(John 10:10)

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