Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

10 Additamenta (Additions of the Confreres at Cappenberg)

10 Additamenta (Additions of the Confreres at Cappenberg)

ADDITAMENTA

The Additions of the Confreres of Cappenberg

Additamenta - Chapter I

What Sort of Person Norbert Was and How Great He Was.

1. Concerning our common father, we his sons at Cappenberg desire to add what has been discovered by us, lest in the pursuit of paternal merit, we appear to Your Holiness[AC-I-1] to be ungrateful. We have a book which contains the life of our founder who is a man worthy of God. In it is written[AC-I-2], "In those days there appeared in parts of Westphalia a distinguished light of the Church, a renowned herald of God, Norbert, a man of truly admirable grace, very fine eloquence, the highest temperance, an organizer and propagator of canonical life, a gatherer of the servants of Christ, the founder of many monasteries, very vigorous in his behavior and his words, a preacher of true penance, and in all things one who accomplished the prophet's command to "prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God."[AC-I-3]

Additamenta - Chapter II

Norbert Predicted a Famine Would Come to Westphalia.

There are two of Norbert's great deeds which were accomplished in this place which I do not think should be passed over in silence. Once he foretold in the spirit that a famine would come to Westphalia and that the confreres would be chastised for a little while also. According to the foreknowledge of the Man of God this turned out to be so serious that many died from the severe lack of food. It happened one day when the confreres were on their way to eat that there was no bread available, nor was there any grain on hand with which to make bread. They had distributed to the guests and poor whatever they had withheld from themselves through fasting. The Man of God had frequently stressed what is written: "The Lord will not afflict the soul of the just with hunger".[AC-II-1]  Suddenly the Lord, through his faithful, sent such an abundance of bread that the confreres were sufficiently fed and offered it quickly to those who came to them. From that day on suitable support was never lacking to the confreres.[AC-II-2]

Additamenta - Chapter III

Norbert Dispelled a Fever by His Word.

2. On another occasion when the Holy Man wanted to appoint one of the confreres to some business of the monastery, he found him prostrate with a high fever. He gave him the assignment in the strength of Christ using only a word of command. "Go," he said, "and return and no longer burn with fever." Immediately the brother regained his strength and performed what had been commanded by the holy father as quickly as possible. Thus the words of the Man of God accomplished what he wanted and suddenly dispelled a long lasting illness. This is also written there.[AC-III-1]

Additamenta - Chapter IV

The Regular Way of Life of the Confreres.

The Holy Spirit, who dwelt in the herald of truth and who spoke through him, was pleased to bring wonderful fruit from the Lord's field. He was pleased, I say, that the brothers dwelling in the aforementioned monasteries, that is Cappenberg, Varlar and Ilbenstadt, professed the Rule of the Blessed Augustine in such a manner that they observed this same rule somewhat more strictly than was customary until then, namely by abstaining from eating fat and meat, and also by exhibiting a rigor of penitence through the use of a more austere habit. John, the friend of the bridegroom, fed on natural and wild foods[AC-IV-1], not fine food. And before the crowds which flocked to the desert he was praised by the Savior himself regarding the austerity of his clothing. And here this Order of ours[AC-IV-2], under the guidance of God's mercy, spreads far and wide, and as we truly trust, will continue to spread much farther in the future. Hence we ought not doubt that it was begun under the direction of the Holy Spirit and expanded under the direction of God's plan. Did not the Lord, the leader of the journey, bring that vine out of Egypt[AC-IV-3] with his outstretched arm?[AC-IV-4]  This was also added there.[AC-IV-5]

Additamenta - Chapter V

The Rule of Blessed Augustine.

3. We heard this same defender of orthodox truth explaining the following in the common chapter: "I know," he said, "one of the confreres of our profession who has seen the Blessed Augustine. He was researching our rule rather seriously, not on his own but at the request of his confreres. Augustine with his right hand held out to him the golden rule. He made himself known to him clearly, saying, "I, whom you see, am Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo. Behold, you have the rule which I have written, under which, if your confreres, my sons, fight well, they will stand secure before Christ in the terror of the last judgment.''  Norbert told this story humbly as if about another. Nevertheless, we undoubtedly think that it was he himself to whom this was revealed.

4. Up until this point what has been written here comes from the book of our founder.[AC-V-1]  Now, if you will, let us treat briefly and lovingly those things which are noted neither in your book nor in ours, according as we find them true.

Additamenta - Chapter VI

The Lord's Blood which Appeared on the Paten of Father Norbert's Chalice.

This event took place at Floreffe. When our memorable father was celebrating Mass there, during which he was certainly accustomed to proceed very devoutly, suddenly he saw, just before Communion, in the middle of the paten a large red drop of the Lord's blood. He called Brother Rudolph our sacristan who was then his deacon. "Do you see, brother, what I see?" He said: "I see, my Lord." And he began to weep profusely because of this so great incident. After this miracle became known, based on this, we believe, we have been instructed to wash the paten.[AC-VI-1]  The observance of this custom among us began at this time since until then it was unknown to us.

Additamenta - Chapter VII

The Veil of St. Servatius.

5.  We read in the life of Blessed Servatius that, after the death of that very holy bishop, while the people watched with wonder, a silk cloth brought by angelic hands was placed over his venerable body. For this reason this silk cloth is honored with the highest reverence in the church at Maastricht and is also preserved and stored with special care. When the Man of God came to Maastricht he asked to see this silk cloth. But they all began to make an excuse, especially since no one dared to look into the case in which it was kept. What can we say? The Man of God eventually got his request. But when in his presence they opened the sacred repository, suddenly the silk cloth -- I am going to say something strange -- by some marvelous and divine power moved and flew away. It flew around the basilica for some time until, unfolded, it hovered at the top of the church near the ceiling as if borne up by wings. When this was seen some gasped in amazement, others were almost fearful with grief that it was being taken from them. The Man of God considered the matter in silence and then began Mass. While he was saying Mass, the silk cloth refolded itself and softly settled above the priest's extended arms. He took it respectfully and restored it to its place. By this event, I do not doubt that God has declared both the glorious merit of Bishop Servatius as well as the faith and power of prayer of his servant (Norbert).

Additamenta - Chapter VIII

The Death of a Robber.

6.  In the place which is called Bonlandt[AC-VIII-1], where also a monastery of our confreres flourishes, there dwelt a powerful plunderer of others' possessions. This man, among his other violent crimes, for some time had possession of the income of wine which properly belonged to the Church of Magdeburg and in particular was intended for the celebration of Mass. When the Archbishop came there, as a confrere of that place recounted to me, he was not silent on behalf of the church entrusted to him. He summoned the robber and, although he was fearful, openly said, "Sir, why do you presume to inflict this injustice on Blessed Maurice[AC-VIII-2] and rashly take possession of the annual income set aside for Mass and put it to your own use?" When the man pompously responded that this was not invasion of property but a legitimate possession of his heredity, the Man of God answered with prophetic spirit, "Know, brother, that this coming year you will be driven back from this plundering by the judgment of God." As he predicted, so it happened. That same year the unfortunate man was killed by his enemies.

Additamenta - Chapter IX

The Warfare Which Norbert Foretold.

7.  At another time also when Norbert was taking part in an expedition of King Lothair he arrived with the King at Augsburg[AC-IX-1] where he predicted the famous uprising which arose between the people of that city and the king[AC-IX-2]. Before entering any church to pray, this thrice blessed man was accustomed to say on bended knees at the threshold of the basilica, "Peace be to this house and to all who dwell there."[AC-IX-3]  When therefore Norbert entered the church of the aforementioned city and had completed his prayer, he summoned his deacon, from whom we know this, and revealed to him what he knew through the spirit. He said, "Brother, I asked peace for this place, I asked for peace but nevertheless I have found here the rejection of peace.[AC-IX-4] Therefore, I carefully commend to your safekeeping our pallium and whatever else is in your custody because confusion and great conflict hang over this place. Thus it happened. The next day, after many lay prostrate and wounded by the king, the citizens were punished for their rashness. Finally, they were scarcely received into the king's favor even after much tribute money was paid.

Additamenta - Chapter X

Norbert Healed a Demoniac.

On another occasion when a demoniac was brought to him -- to be brief -- Norbert blessed water mixed with salt and when he approached and began to sprinkle the water, the evil spirit departed before he came to the man. These are a few of the many things which we've discovered and which we do not think it is right to be silent about, because both from the law[AC-X-1] and from the Gospel[AC-X-2] we are warned not to neglect the honor of our father. He who has left us such great examples of perfection will not cease to intercede for us with Christ -- as we securely trust -- so that even here we may walk in the footsteps of so great a predecessor and, at the end of our suffering, deserve to be welcomed with him into eternal glory. Amen.

Other Categories:
Library » Documents » Life of St. Norbert (Vita B) - Translation of 12th Century Manuscript