Today’s Saint

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June 6 | Follow Me

Saint Norbert

A.D. 1075–1134



Are you following Jesus?

Two of the key designations that Jesus assigns to his disciples are follower and servant. In this world obsessed with position, power, and status, it is easy to see how these essential roles of discipleship get overlooked. 

Our obsession with leadership is particularly fascinating. People are told from childhood, be a leader, be a leader, be a leader. And now we have a world where everyone wants to lead, and nobody wants to follow. Yet, despite all the focus we have placed on developing leaders, the world is experiencing a devastating poverty of leadership. 

The reason is astoundingly simple. It is impossible to be a great leader if you do not first learn to follow. There is no greater preparation for leadership than to be a committed follower. 

Saint Norbert changed everything in order to follow Jesus, and in the process, he became a great leader.

Born into nobility around 1080 in the Holy Roman Empire, Norbert's early life was marked by luxury and comfort. He soon became an advisor in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. However, all that changed when one day Norbert was riding through a storm, and a sudden bolt of lightning caused Norbert to be thrown off his horse. Lying on the ground, Norbert heard a divine call to follow Jesus. And he followed it. (His story may remind you of St. Paul, who we covered on January 25th.)

Norbert soon gave up his noble title and worldly possessions, and was ordained a priest. He committed himself to following Jesus, and Jesus prepared him to become a leader.

In 1120, Norbert founded the Premonstratensian Order, also known as the Norbertines. Then he was appointed an archbishop. He became known for his courageous and tireless work to combat heresy and revitalize the faith of those who had become disengaged.

“Come, follow me.” (Matthew 4:19) When you hear these words, where does your mind go? What do these words stir in your soul? Do they arouse caution, excitement, fear, or is it something else? 

When Jesus says, “Come, follow me” it is the most amazing invitation in the history of the world. Why aren’t we more excited? He is inviting you and me to join him on the adventure of a lifetime that goes everywhere worth going to do everything worth doing. But we keep putting him off. Or we say that we will go, and then change our minds.

From time to time, we all need to renew our commitment to following Jesus. Perhaps today is that day. 

Maybe we just need to sit in the classroom of silence and say yes again to following Jesus.

WHAT EMOTIONS DO I FEEL WHEN I THINK ABOUT FOLLOWING JESUS? HOW CAN I RECOMMIT TO FOLLOWING HIM TODAY?

Jesus, I will follow you wherever you lead me.


This reflection is brought to you from book title.


Also Known As: Norbert of Xanten

Patron Saint of: Priests, Peace, and Childbirth

Canonized: July 28, 1582

Canonized By: Pope Gregory XIII

Feast Day: June 6

Feast Day Shared By: Saints Artemius and Pauline, and Saint Claudius

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