Q: What is the history behind the feast of Corpus Christi?
A: Corpus Christi appeared as a feast on the Roman calendar primarily due to the petitions of the thirteenth century Augustinian nun, Juliana of Liège, who from her childhood had a veneration for the Blessed Sacrament. She had a vision of Christ in 1208, in which He asked her to request the institution of a feast in honor of the Eucharist. The feast was first established locally, and then was spread to the Church universal in 1264 by Pope Urban IV. Texts for this new liturgy were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. The feast had an octave until 1955, when Pius XII suppressed all octaves except for Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.
Leonidas is a Hybrid Tea, bred by Alain Meilland of France and introduced in 1995 as a florist's rose. Named after the candy manufacturer in Belgium, its blooms have a chocolaty hue when grown in a greenhouse, and sometimes approach this color when in the garden, particularly in the cooler months of spring and late autumn. Leonidas has a reputation as a very weak grower, and this was the case for the first five years in the abbey garden. Suddenly in year six, it began to put out thick vigorous shoots from the base and is presently doing a fine job of holding its own in the garden. Although it is a Hybrid Tea, it is not a rose that appreciates or wants heavy pruning, and it's first years in the ground can get away with simply removing twiggy, weak growth and taking out dead stems. For this reason, it would probably be difficult to grow in cooler climates. For those with the climate and the patience, it is a rewarding plant.
St. Michael's Abbey has over
100 varieties of roses and over
300 bushes on site. Come and see.
OUR HOLY FATHER ST. NORBERT - part 2
Memorial: June 6th
In 1126 the emperor called an Imperial Diet (i.e., a formal, deliberative assembly...not a weight loss program) in Speyer to fill the vacant See of Magdeburg, to which Norbert was invited. He was elected archbishop of Magdeburg and entered his episcopal city barefoot and in penitential attire on July 18, 1126, but as a bishop he had to make some adjustments to his way of life. In his new position he had to put an end to many abuses in the diocese and to nullify the illegal sale of church property. Norbert began this dangerous task with vigor; his priority was reform of the clergy. To this end, he brought confreres from Prémontré to Magdeburg and entrusted them with the Church of Our Lady. He also founded Norbertine monasteries in Pohlde and Gottesgnaden. As shepherd of a diocese on the frontier of a great mission territory, Norbert geared his confreres in Magdeburg more toward the work of care for souls more than he had at Premontre. During his short tenure as bishop (1126-1134) he could not accomplish all his plans for missionary outreach, so after his death his confreres continued to labor for the conversion of the Wends, a Slavic tribe who still followed pagan customs.
In his last years, Norbert was engaged in political activities in the service of both Church and emperor. He was instrumental in restoring the peace between Emperor Lothar III and Pope Innocent II. He proved himself a stout defender of the Pope Innocent against the antipope Anacletus. As chancellor of the empire he accompanied Lothar to his coronation in Rome. After returning to Germany Norbert became seriously ill at Goslar in 1134. He was taken to Magdeburg where he lived another three months. He was able to bless the oils at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, but on Easter Sunday, he had to celebrate Mass seated, so weakened was his state. The founder of the Norbertine Order, Norbert of Xanten, died June 6, 1134. He was buried in Magdeburg in the church of the Monastery of Our Lady at the altar of the Holy Cross. A few years later his remains were moved and re-interred in the aisle of the choir stalls in the sanctuary of the church. Pope Gregory XIII canonized him on July 28, 1582. Magdeburg later fell into the hands of the Protestants, so the relics of St. Norbert were transferred through the efforts of Abbot von Questemberg in 1626 and later placed in a magnificent chapel in the abbey church of Strahov in Prague (cf. May 7 and June 28).
June 6 Feast of St. Norbert
11:00 a.m. Mass
5:00 p.m. Vespers
June 7 Feast of Corpus Christi 11:00 a.m. Mass
5:00 p.m. Vespers followed by Procession