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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Norbert The Apostle of Peace - Abbot Martin Geudens - CTS Biographies

Norbert The Apostle of Peace
CTS Biographies
Abbot Martin Geudens 
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784696306
CTS Booklet B775


A few years ago, I stumbled across the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society quite by accident. I was researching an author I had run across, and was trying to track down all of her works. Soon I had a long lost of books from the CTS on my Wishlist, and it seems that for everyone I read I end up with 1 or 2 more on my wish list. At the writing of this review I have read over 175 titles from the CTS over the last 3 years and currently have over 200 either in my ‘to be read’ pile or on my wish list still. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. I believe this is the only book currently published written by Abbot Martin Geudens, and it is an inspiring volume. The description of this booklet is:

“On the 900th Anniversary of the founding of the Norbertine Order, CTS presents this new biography of St Norbert, apostle of peace and of the Blessed Sacrament, a strong defender of the Church, and the founder of an Order with a long and recently revived connection with this country.”

The vast majority of the book is a biography of Saint Norbert. And the final section is on the Norbertines and their work in the British Iles. The chapters in the book are:

His Early life and Conversion
Norbert’s Ordination and Zeal
Norbert at the Council of Fritzlar, Visiting the Pope and his Missionary Journey
Norbert, the Apostle of Peace
Norbert and Prémontré
Norbert and the Early Months of the order of Prémontré
Norbert Against the Devil, Founding of the Third order and His Success at Antwerp
The Spread of the Order of Prémontré
Norbert’s apostolic Journeys and Return to Prémontré
Norbert Chosen to Become Archbishop of Magdeburg
Norbert Defends the Rights of the Church and a Successor is Chosen for Prémontré
Norbert Establishes His brethren in Magdeburg; Plots against Norbert
A Riot in Magdeburg and More Plots against Norbert
Norbert Returns to Magdeburg
Norbert Accompanies the Emperor to Rome to Restore the Rightful Pope
The Death and Burial of Norbert
Miracles at Norbert’s Shrine and the Removal of His Relics to Prague
Norbertines in England

This biography is a fascinating read. I was intrigued by the title. And recall coming across the name from time to time. But I could not have told you anything about this amazing saint in detail. This book has remedied that. But has also left me with a thirst to know more about this saint and to see if and of his works are available, and available in English. This volume begins with these words:

“The twelfth century witnessed troubles which divided Europe, and even schisms and divisions which divided the Church. During this Chaos, Divine Providence raised up St Norbert as an apostle of peace, an apostle of the Blessed Sacrament, a strong defender of the Church, and as the founder of a new Order.”

When I first read those words I could not help but think of the church in our own times. We in the 21st Century could use another Norbert. Or at least look back and learn from the wisdom of his life an example. 

Norbert lived for God. He had no issues confronting emperors and even a pope. He was a faithful son of the church. And desired to serve. To be a light bearer. And because of his life he faced much opposition both secular and spiritual. He had foes in the world, within the church, and even spiritual battles against the Devil himself. 

This little volume of 71 pages gives us an excellent look into the life of this saint. His troubles, trials, tribulations, and his triumphs. The booklet is inspiring and also challenging. It is a book that will spark deeper prayer. And a desire to grow spiritually. It is a most excellent read. I just wish there was an eBook edition of that it was easier to get in North America. I would keep a few copies on hand to give out to friends and family.

An excellent read, and a great first book to start off 2021. Another great read from the Catholic Truth Society, and excellent volume in the CTS Biographies Series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.







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