It’s amazing what you can learn on The Internets.
For instance, did you know that June 8 is the feast day of St. Norbert of Xanten? Neither did I, until the folks at Visual Thesaurus included it as a factoid with today’s “word of the day:” monstrance.
This factoid may have been lost on me entirely, except for a vague recollection of actually having been to Xanten. (It’s a long story—a sordid tale from my past that involves touring Germany with a mime troupe. But don’t worry … I’m no longer contagious.)
Anyway, according to Wikipedia, Norbert was ordained in 1115. With his disciples—who included Hugh of Fosses and St. Evermod—he established his community of Premonstratensians in 1120. Norbert adopted the rule of Bishop St. Augustine of Hippo for his new order, and he modeled its constitution after a group of cloistered, vegetarian monks who practiced in perpetual silence. Norbert went on to become archbishop of Magdeburg in 1126.
OK. Let’s stop here for a second. Why don’t we use cool names like this anymore? St. Evermod? The Bishop St. Augustine of Hippo? Premonstratensians?! And how the heck does anyone remember what happened in 1115?
I think St. Norbert’s tale may warrant more research.
In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy some pictures of Xanten as it appeared to my teenage eyes in 1984. And remember: Mimes are people, too.