Tuesday, 6 June 2006

666 and St Norbert

A priest friend of mine is seeing the bishop about a possible new appointment later today - and is rather concerned because this is the much heralded 6/6/06 (or 666, the dreaded number of the Devil)! Internet Padre has some fun information about this date - with the release of the remake of The Omen, some expectant mothers are hysterically fearing the advent of lots of little Damien's!

At least 6/6/06 is the Feast of St Norbert (c.1080-1134), founder of the Premonstratensions, and anyone feeling nervous can trust in his protection. According to one online biography:

As all great and saintly enterprises are exposed to the most violent attacks, it ought not to surprise us that religious Orders, especially in their infancy, are a constant target for the fury of Satan, for he naturally does all in his power to prevent the raising of establishments which he knows to be fatal to his empire. Thus the Patriarch of the Monks of the West had no sooner formed his great project of founding that grand Order, which throughout the course of its history has done so much for the good of religion, than Satan came to declare war and to frustrate his plans. Many times did he frighten the masons and even break down the walls they had built. Thus also at Premontre, especially during the absence of Norbert, Satan never ceased in his endeavors to disturb the young community. Their holy lives aroused his anger, and the progress of their new building seemed to make him desperate. Sometimes he appeared with a number of his satellites to attack Premontre as a band of armed soldiers attacks a stronghold. The religious as well as the other workmen felt plainly on these occasions the presence of some invisible enemy preventing them from working until they sprinkled holy water all over the place. On one occasion especially, all were greatly disturbed and felt obliged to call the Prior. Blessed Hugh came and banished the evil one by the sign of the Cross. At other times Hugh commanded Satan in the name of Norbert to depart, and the evil one obeyed. It happened on one occasion when Hugh was exorcising one of the laybrothers, that the devil confessed openly that he was that same spirit whom Norbert—'that white dog whose birth should be cursed forever'—had expelled from the girl at Nivelles. He left his present victim under loud protestations, showing incidentally Norbert's great power over evil spirits.

As the Latin tag went:

Quum Nivigellae Batanam de corde puellae
Propulsas, album te vocat canem.
Tartareum dum nempe lupum mordesque jugasque
Ipse fuga Domini Te probat esse canem

(When at Nivelles St Norbert drove out the evil spirit from a young girl, Satan called him a white dog. His continual chasing of Satan proves that Norbert is the dog of the Lord.)



Blogger Joee Blogs said...

haha thats awesome. was really interesting to read your article on your moving parish soon too. i'm really getting into this blogging malarky - aka totally addicted.

hope u dont mind me plugging our norbertines in manchester as i'm very keen on all the wonderful things going on in Britain...


10:20 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Thanks for the comments and the link. I've added you to my list of 'blogs of distinction.' Keep up the good work - and glad to see that you're being guided by a very good SD (who is great pal of mine)!

10:43 pm  
Blogger Joee Blogs said...

wow in your blogs of distinction! cool thanks fr nicholas!

12:19 am  
Blogger Mark said...

I had no idea -- and here my middle name is Norbert! (My namesake: a wonderful Passionist priest.) Thanks for a most interesting blog -- Mark Sullivan http://mcns.blogspot.com

7:26 pm  

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