Tag Archives: Norbertine

Saint Norbert

St Norbert detailBrian Fitzgerald’s 2014 essay, “Teaching by Word and Example: St Norbert of Xanten”(Crisis Magazine online) gives an insightful glimpse into a man we in the USA don’t know too much about but who continues to impact the way we live our common Catholic faith in communio. In some ways, the 11th century Norbert was a new “St Paul.” His contemporary Saint Bernard of Clairvaulx called Norbert “heavenly water pipe” yet no word of his survives these centuries. Norbert founded a community of canons who followed the Rule of St Augustine which adhered to the idea: “docere verbo et exemplo” (to teach by word and example).

Several things that we ought to clue-in on from Norbert:

1. the centrality of preaching and Liturgy to the apostolic life;
2. the unity of the active and contemplative lives, the “mixed life”
3. Christians are to be “imitators of Christ’s disciples”
4. the Christian faith makes sense only in the communal aspect.

Saint Norbert, pray for us.

Norbertine sisters bless new monastery

Norbertine SistersThis past summer –so this is old news for some– the Sisters of the Mountain, the Norbertine Canonesses, established the first monastery for women in the USA. The Norbertine vocation is different from being a Dominican, Augustinian or Benedictine.

The new monastery, The Bethlehem Priory of St Joseph, is located in Tehachapi, California. A life of seclusion, separated from the outside world, opens the door to do the Lord’s work of prayer and sacrifice for the salvation of souls.

A seven minute video by a local news station did a very nice profile of the Canonesses giving a glimpse of the Norbertine vocation and the making of a monastery. How often do you hear of this type of news? I recommend it…

A print article on the monastery blessing is covered here.

Why is this important? It’s not. At least it is not important on the secular level. But, on the supernatural level, the new monastery’s creation and blessing is sign of God’s Providence and humanity’s response. On this level, a monastery is a place of healing, spiritual and intellectual growth, it is a place to do spiritual battle. The monastic presence is a sign for all Christians of the building of the Kingdom of God on earth so that we may enjoy God in heaven.

May God grant success to the work of their hands. May the Holy Theotokos, St Joseph and St Norbert protect.

Litany in honor of St Norbert

St Norbert founder and bishop.jpg

The Litany in honor of our holy father Saint Norbert

Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us,
Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, hear us,
Christ, graciously hear us,

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us,
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,

Holy Mary, pray for us,
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Queen of the White-robed Order,

Thou who had a great love for St. Norbert,
Holy Father Norbert, pray for us,

St. Norbert, whose birth was foretold from Heaven,
St. Norbert, who was marvellously converted by God,
St. Norbert, mirror of true penance,
St. Norbert, who did trample earthly pomps under foot,
St. Norbert, despiser of the world,
St. Norbert, who did conquer thy passions and affections,
St. Norbert, who did gain the victory over temptations,
St. Norbert, who did quell and cast down devils,
St. Norbert, restorer of peace and concord,
St. Norbert, who did walk barefoot,
St. Norbert, who did practise mortification,
St. Norbert, lover of the Cross,
St. Norbert, pattern of abstinence,
St. Norbert, most strict observer of fasting,
St. Norbert, who did yourself practice and teach silence,
St. Norbert, who did receive the white habit from the Mother of God,
St. Norbert, most constant in faith,
St. Norbert, most firm in hope,
St. Norbert, most fervent in charity,
St. Norbert, zealous lover of chastity,
St. Norbert, model of poverty,
St. Norbert, mirror of obedience,
St. Norbert, vigilant teacher of discipline,

St. Norbert, defender of the true faith,
St. Norbert, choice vindicator of the Blessed Sacrament,
St. Norbert, pillar of the Catholic Church,
St. Norbert, flower of sanctity and brightness of all virtue,
St. Norbert, light of prayer and contemplation,
St. Norbert, pattern of perfection,
St. Norbert, leader of the white-robed army,
St. Norbert, patriarch of the Premonstratensians,
St. Norbert, father and protector of thy Order,
St. Norbert, primate of Germany,
St. Norbert, worker of miracles,
St. Norbert, wonderful Discerner of spirits,
St. Norbert, imitator of Jesus Christ,
St. Norbert, follower of the Apostles,
St. Norbert, who was like to the Martyrs,
St. Norbert, gem of Pontiffs,
St. Norbert, Glory of Confessors,
St. Norbert, companion of virgins,
St. Norbert, colleague of all Saints,
St. Norbert, admirable in his translation,

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord, 
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord, 

From the neglect of Thy commandments, deliver us, O Lord, 
From the transgression of our vows,
From uncleanness of mind and body,
From the spirit of fornication,
From a proud and sad spirit,
From the snares of the devil,
From overwhelming temptation,
From the disorder of our passions,
From the blindness of self-love,
From the obstinacy of self-will,
From an evil and unprovided death,

Through the wonderful conversion of St. Norbert,
Through his austere penance,
Through his ardent zeal in preaching,
Through his exemplary life,
Through all his virtues,
Through his holy death,
Through his wonderful translation,
Through his glorious crown in Heaven,
Through his merits and intercession,
We sinners, beseech Thee, hear us,  

That Thou would grant us true sorrow and contrition of heart, we beseech Thee, hear us, 
That Thou would grant us a true conversion of life,
That Thou would grant us obedience to our Rule and preserve us in the same,
That Thou would make faith, hope and charity to grow in us,
That Thou would make us zealous observers of our three vows,
That Thou would grant us the gift of prayer,
That Thou would bestow upon us the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit,
That Thou would vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church,
That Thou would vouchsafe to extend and preserve the Premonstratensian Order,
That Thou would vouchsafe to strengthen the Abbot General and all the Abbots of the Order with a perfect spirit,
That Thou would vouchsafe to grant us the crown of perseverance,
That Thou would give grace to the living and to the departed eternal rest,

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, 
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us,

Christ graciously hear us,
Lord have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us,
Lord, have mercy on us,

(quietly)  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …

V.  And lead us not into temptation,
R.  But deliver us from evil.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V.  O Lord, hear my prayer,
R.  And let my cry come unto Thee.

V.  The Lord be with you,
R.  And also with you.

Let us pray.

O God, Who did make of Blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an excellent preacher of the Word, and by his means did enrich Thy Church with new offspring, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his intercession we may put in practice by Thy grace what he taught us, both in word and work.

Awake, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop was guided, in order that, filled with the same spirit, we may love what he loved and live as he taught us.

O Lord, grant to us Thy servant’s constancy in Thy faith and service, that, rooted in Divine charity, we may not be conquered by any temptation. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

Praised be the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Praised be Jesus Christ.  Amen

Praying for the abbot in the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass?


Frequently do I go to places where certain liturgical practices catch my attention because of the novelty of what is said and heard. We always need a deeper understanding, a profound appreciation for the prayer of the Church as expressed in the sacred Liturgy. Some will say that canon law, particularly liturgical law, is the bad side of the Good News. As Catholics we are part of a Church; as Catholics we are not independent of sacred Scripture, sacred Tradition and the sacred Magisterium; as Catholics we follow a guided companionship on a journey to a deeper communio with the Triune God. We are not Marlboro people; we are, in fact, sheep in flock called to the Holy Synaxis, to the holy in-gathering of a people in Christ, or simply, Church. We have a good shepherd in Jesus and in His successors, that is, the bishops, and we follow the teaching authority of the Christ and His vicars.

This is a long introduction to a question as whether or not priests of monastic communities ought to name the abbot in the Eucharistic Prayer. There seems to be some confusion over this seemingly small, trite matter. It is not small, and it is not trite. We have an ecclesiology, and we have a liturgical practice that ought to be followed because we live our Catholic lives in communion with others. Abbots are minor prelates; they exercise their pastoral authority and power in their monastic community and not in a diocese, and by extension to the dependent priories. An abbot ought not employ the attitude of having a mitre and a crosier so that  you can do whatever you’d like, whenever you’d like, etc.

Can a priest commemorate Abbot X (or even the abbess if in the context of a woman’s monastery) along with the pope and the bishop in the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass?


The General Instruction of the Roman Missal gives four titles that may be named in the Eucharistic Prayer: “The Diocesan Bishop, or one who is equivalent to the Diocesan Bishop in law, must be mentioned  by means of this formula: together with your servant N., our Pope, and N., our Bishop (or Vicar, Prelate, Prefect, Abbot)” (no. 149). Each of these offices are  “equivalent to the Diocesan Bishop in law” by virtue of their appointment to act on behalf of the Supreme Pontiff within a particular area.

Read more ...

Remembering Saint Augustine’s conversion

tolle lege.jpg

You may remember reading this phrase in the Confessions, “Tolle lege.” It means “take up and read.” As is well known that “while he was under conviction of sin, Augustine heard some children singing this phrase as they played — and he concluded that God was telling him to “take up and read” the Scriptures. And the rest is history…

The practice of Lectio Divina is essential for knowing the beauty of the faith.

Today, the Norbertine liturgical calendar celebrates the conversion of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and their holy patron. Let’s pray for the canons of Daylesford Abbey.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
coat of arms



Humanities Blog Directory