Norbert of Xanten: A Timeline


Norbert is born into a noble family near the Rhineland, on the left bank of the Rhine, in Germany.


Norbert witnesses Emperor Henry V’s mistreatment of Pope Paschal II in Rome and is left feeling uneasy. He leaves the court and returns to Xanten to devote himself to prayer, penance, and reflection.


On the road to Freden, Norbert experiences a religious conversion when he is thrown from his horse during a storm when a bolt of lightning spooks the animal, and is nearly killed during a storm. He is ordained, gives everything he owns to the poor, goes to the pope for permission to preach, and becomes an itinerant preacher, traveling through Europe barefoot in the middle of winter.


Norbert begins a community in a lonely valley called Premontre, with 30 canons, establishing there the first Norbertine monastery.


Norbert is consecrated the Archbishop of Magdeburg in Germany.


Anti-pope Anacletus II challenges the right of Innocent II to the papacy and Norbert confirms Innocent’s claim to the papacy and helps re-establish unity in the Church.


Norbert is buried in Magdeburg, Germany, the church he governed as archbishop at the time of his death.


Norbert is canonized.

December 3, 1626

Norbert’s body is exhumed.

May 2, 1627

Norbert’s body is translated from its initial resting place in Magdeburg to its current glorious location in the Abbey of Strahov. His casket is carried in procession into the Church of the Assumption of Strahov Abbey in Prague, Czech Republic. There, it is enthroned in a place of honor above an altar in a side chapel.

Daylesford Abbey is open to those who feel called to fulfill their vocation as a Catholic priest. As Norbertines, we live a common life together. We live in communio and share common prayer each day. Like St. Norbert, we feel compelled to help others find reconciliation in their lives and with God.

Each day, the call from God to begin the journey to the priesthood may become more and more apparent. If you find the Norbertine order is the right fit for you, we invite you to join us. Contact Abbot Domenic A. Rossi for further information at or call 610-647-2530.