Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Saint June 7 : St. Robert of Newminster : #Cistercian #Abbot

St. Robert of Newminster
CISTERCIAN ABBOT
Feast: June 7


     Information:
Feast Day:June 7
Born:1100 at Gargrave, Craven district, Yorkshire county, England
Died:7 June 1159 at Newminster England
He was a native of Yorkshire, and even in his childhood an enemy to the usual amusements of that age, loving only prayer, serious reading, and useful and pious employments. Having finished his studies, he was ordained priest, and instituted to a rectorship of a parish in the diocese of York; but after discharging that office some time with great assiduity and zeal, he resigned that living, and took the religious habit in the Benedictine monastery of our Lady in York. Richard, the prior of this house, and twelve others, desiring to serve God according to the primitive institute of the Benedictine Order, left the monastery, with leave of the abbot, and endeavoring to execute their project, struggled with incredible hardships; till Thurstan, the pious archbishop of York, gave them a desert valley, called Scheldale, with the town of Sutton, where, in the midst of winter, and in extreme poverty they founded the celebrated abbey which, from certain springs, was called Fountains, in 1132. The Cistercian Order, which had been lately introduced into England, and settled at Rievalle, was perfectly agreeable to the fervent dispositions of this holy colony; and at their request the monastery of Fountains was received into it by St. Bernard, who in his letters extols the perfection and sanctity of this new nursery of saints, which, from the beginning, was a model to the whole order for devotion, austerity in fasts, labor, by which all the monks procured their subsistence, fervor in all religious exercises, and cheerfulness in singing assiduously the divine praises. No murmur or sadness was known among them; nor any strife or contention ever heard of, unless of charity or humility: they never yielded to rest, till fatigued with labor; and always came hungry from their slender table, which was chiefly furnished with pulse and roots from their garden. St. Robert seemed so far to eclipse the rest of this holy company by the lustre of his piety, that they all had their eyes on him in their religions duties, and studied to transcribe his fervor in their actions. Ranulph of Merley, baron of Morpeth, paying a visit to the monastery of Fountains five years after its foundation, was so struck with the edifying deportment of the terrestrial angels who inhabited it, that he obtained of the abbot Richard a certain number of those monks, and built for them a monastery called Newminster, near Morpeth, in Northumberland, in 1137, of which St. Robert was appointed abbot.

The saint in his new dignity thought it his duty not only to walk before his brethren, but to go beyond them all in every religious observance; and all his virtues seemed to receive new vigor, and a new degree of perfection in this eminent station. His affection to holy prayer is not to be expressed. He recommended to God continually those committed to his care, and with many tears poured forth his soul for them night and day. He was favored with the gift of prophecy and miracles. He founded another monastery a Pipinelle, or Rivebelle, in Northamptonshire, and lived in the strictest union of holy friendship with St. Bernard; also with St. Godric, a holy hermit in those parts, illiterate as to secular learning, but a most spiritual man. St. Robert finished his course by a happy death on the 7th of June, 1159. Miracles attested his sanctity to the world. He is named in the Roman Martyrology.


Alban Butler - Lives of the Saints

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday June 6, 2017 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 354


Reading 1TB 2:9-14

On the night of Pentecost, after I had buried the dead,
I, Tobit, went into my courtyard
to sleep next to the courtyard wall.
My face was uncovered because of the heat.
I did not know there were birds perched on the wall above me,
till their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing cataracts.
I went to see some doctors for a cure
but the more they anointed my eyes with various salves,
the worse the cataracts became,
until I could see no more.
For four years I was deprived of eyesight, and
all my kinsmen were grieved at my condition.
Ahiqar, however, took care of me for two years,
until he left for Elymais.

At that time, my wife Anna worked for hire
at weaving cloth, the kind of work women do.
When she sent back the goods to their owners, they would pay her.
Late in winter on the seventh of Dystrus,
she finished the cloth and sent it back to the owners.
They paid her the full salary
and also gave her a young goat for the table.
On entering my house the goat began to bleat.

I called to my wife and said: "Where did this goat come from?
Perhaps it was stolen! Give it back to its owners;
we have no right to eat stolen food!"
She said to me, "It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages."
Yet I would not believe her,
and told her to give it back to its owners.
I became very angry with her over this.
So she retorted: "Where are your charitable deeds now?
Where are your virtuous acts?
See! Your true character is finally showing itself!"

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1-2, 7-8, 9

R. (see 7c) The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE EPH 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 12:13-17

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion.
You do not regard a person's status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?"
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
"Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at."
They brought one to him and he said to them,
"Whose image and inscription is this?"
They replied to him, "Caesar's."
So Jesus said to them,
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
They were utterly amazed at him.

Saint June 6 : St. Norbert : Patron of #Childbirth and #Peace - #Norbertines



Feast Day:
June 6
Born:
1080 at Xanten, Germany
Died:
6 June 1134 at Magdeburg, Germany
Canonized:
1582 by Pope Gregory XIII
Patron of:
invoked during childbirth for safe delivery; Magdeburg, peace
Born at Xanten on the left bank of the Rhine, near Wesel, c. 1080; died at Magdeburg, 6 June, 1134. His father, Heribert, Count of Gennep, was related to the imperial house of Germany, and his house of Lorraine. A stately bearing, a penetrating intellect, a tender, earnest heart, marked the future apostle. Ordained subdeacon, Norbert was appointed to a canonry at Xanten. Soon after he was summoned to the Court of Frederick, Prince-Bishop of Cologne, and later to that of Henry V, Emperor of Germany, whose almoner he became. The Bishopric of Cambray was offered to him, but refused. Norbert allowed himself to be so carried away by pleasure that nothing short of a miracle of grace could make him lead the life of an earnest cleric. One day, while riding to Vreden, a village near Xanten, he was overtaken by a storm. A thunderbolt fell at his horse's feet; the frightened animal threw its rider, and for nearly an hour he lay like one dead. Thus humbled, Norbert became a sincere penitent. Renouncing his appointment at Court, he retired to Xanten to lead a life of penance.
Understanding, however, that he stood in need of guidance, he placed himself under the direction of Cono, Abbot of Siegburg. In gratitude to Cono, Norbert founded the Abbey of Fürstenberg, endowed it with a portion of his property, and made it over to Cono and his Benedictine successors. Norbert was then in his thirty-fifth year. Feeling that he was called to the priesthood, he presented himself to the Bishop of Cologne, from whose hands he received Holy Orders. After a forty days' retreat at Siegburg Abbey, he celebrated his first Mass at Xanten and preached an earnest discourse on the transitory character of this world's pleasures and on man's duties toward God. The insults of some young clerics, one of whom even spat in his face, he bore with wonderful patience on that occasion. Norbert often went to Siegburg Abbey to confer with Cono, or to the cell of Ludolph, a holy and learned hermit-priest, or to the Abbey or Klosterrath near Rolduc. Accused as an innovator at the Council of Fritzlar, he resigned all his ecclesiastical preferments, disposed of his estate, and gave all to the poor, reserving for himself only what was needed for the celebration of Holy Mass. Barefooted and begging his bread, he journeyed as far as St. Giles, in Languedoc, to confer with Pope Gelasius concerning his future life. Unable to keep Norbert at his court, Gelasius granted him faculties to preach wherever he judged proper. At Valenciennes Norbert met (March, 1119) Burchard, Bishop of Cambray, whose chaplain joined him in his apostolic journeys in France and Belgium. After the death of Pope Gelasius (29 January, 1119) Norbert wished to confer with his successor, Calixtus II, at the Council of Reims (Oct., 1119). The pope and Bartholomew, Bishop of Laon, requested Norbert to found a religious order in the Diocese of Laon, so that his work might be perpetuated after his death. Norbert chose a lonely, marshy valley, shaped in the form of a cross, in the Forest of Coucy, about ten miles from Laon, and named Prémontré. Hugh of Fosses, Evermode of Cambray, Antony of Nivelles, seven students of the celebrated school of Anselm, and Ralph at Laon were his first disciples. The young community at first lived in huts of wood and clay, arranged like a camp around the chapel of St. John the Baptist, but they soon built a larger church and a monastery for the religious who joined them in increasing numbers. Going to Cologne to obtain relics for their church, Norbert discovered through a vision, the spot where those of St. Ursula and her companions, of St. Gereon, and of other martyrs lay hidden. Women also wished to become members of the new religious order. Blessed Ricwera, widow of Count Raymond of Clastres, was St. Norbert's first spiritual daughter, and her example was followed by women of the best families of France and Germany. Soon after this, Norbert returned to Germany and preached in Westphalia, when Godfrey, Count of Kappenberg, offered himself and gave three of his castles to be made into abbeys. On his return from Germany, Norbert was met by Theobald, Count of Champagne, who wished to become a member of the order; but Norbert insisted that God wished Theobald to marry and do good in the world. Theobald agreed to this, but begged Norbert to prescribe a rule of life. Norbert prescribed a few rules and invested Theobald with the white scapular of the order, and thus, in 1122, the Third Order of St. Norbert was instituted. The saint was soon requested by the Bishop of Cambrai to go and combat the infamous heresies which Tanchelin had promulgated, and which had their centre at Antwerp. As a result of his preaching the people of the Low Countries abjured their heresies, and many brought back to him the Sacred Species which they had stolen and profaned. In commemoration of this, St. Norbert has been proclaimed the Apostle of Antwerp, and the feast of his triumph over the Sacramentarian heresy is celebrated in the Archdiocese of Mechlin on 11 July.
The rapid growth of the order was marvellous, and bishops entreated Norbert to found new houses in their dioceses. Floreffe, Viviers, St-Josse, Ardenne, Cuissy, Laon, Liège, Antwerp, Varlar, Kappenberg and others were founded during the first five years of the order's existence. Though the order had already been approved by the pope's legates, Norbert, accompanied by three disciples, journeyed to Rome, in 1125, to obtain its confirmation by the new pope, Honorius II. The Bull of Confirmation is dated 27 February, 1126. Passing through Würzburg on his return to Prémontré, Norbert restored sight to a blind woman; the inhabitants were so full of admiration for him that they spoke of electing him successor to the bishop who had just died, but Norbert and his companions fled secretly. Soon after this, on his way to Ratisbon, he passed through Spier, where Lothair, King of the Romans, was holding a diet, the papal legate being present. Deputies form Magdeburg had also come to solicit a successor to their late archbishop, Rudger.
The papal legate and Lothair used their authority, and obliged Norbert to accept the vacant see. On taking possession of it, he was grieved to find that much property belonging to the Church and the poor had been usurped by powerful men, and that many of the clergy led scandalous lives. He succeeded in converting some of the transgressors, but others only became more obstinate, and three attempts were made on his life. He resisted Pietro di Leoni, who, as antipope, had assumed the name of Anacletus and was master in Rome, exerting himself at the Council of Reims to attach the German Emperor and the German bishops and princes more firmly to the cause of Pope Innocent II.
Though his health was increasingly delicate, Norbert accompanied Lothair and his army to Rome to put the rightful pope on the Chair of St. Peter, and he resisted the pope's concession of the investiture to the emperor. Norbert, whose health was now much impaired, accompanied the Emperor Lothair back to Germany and for some time remained with him, assisting him as his chancellor and adviser. In March, 1134, Norbert had become so feeble that he had to be carried to Magdeburg where he died on the Wednesday after Pentecost. By order of the emperor, his body was laid at rest in the Norbertine Abbey of St. Mary, at Magdeburg. His tomb became glorious by the numerous miracles wrought there. The Bollandists say that there is no document to prove that he was canonized by Innocent III. His canonization was by Gregory XIII in 1582, and his cultus was executed to the whole church by Clement X.
On 2 May, 1627, the saint's body was translated from Magdeburg, then in the hands of Protestants, to the Abbey of Strahov, a suburb of Prague in Bohemia. The Chancery of Prague preserved the abjurations of six hundred Protestants who, on the day, or during the octave, of the translation, were reconciled to the Catholic Church. On that occasion the Archbishop of Prague, at the request of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, proclaimed St. Norbert the Patron and Protector of Bohemia. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia