Wednesday, June 07, 2023



June 7th



Bishop, Confessor

  Saint Robert of Newminster was a native of Yorkshire, and even in his childhood an enemy to the usual amusements of that age, loving only prayer, serious reading, and useful and pious employments. Having finished his studies, he was ordained priest, and instituted to a rectorship of a parish in the diocese of York; but after discharging that office some time with great assiduity and zeal, he resigned that living, and took the religious habit in the Benedictine monastery of our Lady in York. Richard, the prior of this house, and twelve others, desiring to serve God according to the primitive institute of the Benedictine Order, left the monastery, with leave of the abbot, and endeavoring to execute their project, struggled with incredible hardships; till Thurstan, the pious archbishop of York, gave them a desert valley, called Scheldale, with the town of Sutton, where, in the midst of winter, and in extreme poverty they founded the celebrated abbey which, from certain springs, was called Fountains, in 1132. The Cistercian Order, which had been lately introduced into England, and settled at Rievalle, was perfectly agreeable to the fervent dispositions of this holy colony; and at their request the monastery of Fountains was received into it by St. Bernard, who in his letters extols the perfection and sanctity of this new nursery of saints, which, from the beginning, was a model to the whole order for devotion, austerity in fasts, labor, by which all the monks procured their subsistence, fervor in all religious exercises, and cheerfulness in singing assiduously the divine praises. No murmur or sadness was known among them; nor any strife or contention ever heard of, unless of charity or humility: they never yielded to rest, till fatigued with labor; and always came hungry from their slender table, which was chiefly furnished with pulse and roots from their garden. St. Robert seemed so far to eclipse the rest of this holy company by the lustre of his piety, that they all had their eyes on him in their religions duties, and studied to transcribe his fervor in their actions. Ranulph of Merley, baron of Morpeth, paying a visit to the monastery of Fountains five years after its foundation, was so struck with the edifying deportment of the terrestrial angels who inhabited it, that he obtained of the abbot Richard a certain number of those monks, and built for them a monastery called Newminster, near Morpeth, in Northumberland, in 1137, of which St. Robert was appointed abbot.

The saint in his new dignity thought it his duty not only to walk before his brethren, but to go beyond them all in every religious observance; and all his virtues seemed to receive new vigor, and a new degree of perfection in this eminent station. His affection to holy prayer is not to be expressed. He recommended to God continually those committed to his care, and with many tears poured forth his soul for them night and day. He was favored with the gift of prophecy and miracles. He founded another monastery a Pipinelle, or Rivebelle, in Northamptonshire, and lived in the strictest union of holy friendship with St. Bernard; also with St. Godric, a holy hermit in those parts, illiterate as to secular learning, but a most spiritual man. St. Robert finished his course by a happy death on the 7th of June, 1159. Miracles attested his sanctity to the world. He is named in the Roman Martyrology.

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INTROIT (Ps. 36. 30-31)
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgment, the law of his God is in his heart. Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 1) Be not emulous of evildoers, nor envy then that work iniquity. Glory be . . .---The mouth of the just . . . 

May the intercession of blessed Robert, the Abbot, commend us unto Thee, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that what we cannot acquire by any merits of ours, we may obtain by his patronage. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT WILLIBALD
St. Willibald, first Bishop of Eichstadt, was the son of St. Richard, prince of Wessex. With his brother St. Winnibald and his sister St. Walburga, he passed over into Germany to evangelize the heathens. After many labors, he received the reward of the Just about 786 A.D. 

On this feastday of blessed Willibald Thy Confessor and Bishop hear our prayers to Thee, O Lord, and since he gave Thee such worthy service, be mindful of his merits and blot out all our sins. Through our Lord . . .

LESSON (Eccl. 45. 1-6)
Beloved of God, and men: whose memory is in benediction.
He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease.

He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and shewed him his glory.

He sanctified him in his faith, and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh.

For he heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud.

And he gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction, that he might teach Jacob his covenant, and Israel his judgments.

Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 91 13)
The just shall flourish like the palm tree, he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia. (Osee 14. 6) The just shall spring up like the lily and flourish for ever before the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL (Matt. 19. 27-29)
Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?
28 And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.

OFFERTORY (Ps. 20:3,4)
Thou hast given him his hearts desire, O Lord, and hast not withholden from him the will of his lips; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.

May the holy Abbot Robert, we beseech Thee, O Lord, obtain by his prayers, that the Sacrifice laid on Thy holy altar may profit us unto salvation. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT WILLIBALD
May this annual feast of Saint Willibald, Thy Confessor and Bishop make us in Thy kindness acceptable to Thee, O Lord, and may this present rite duly appease Thee, bring happy recompense to him, and assure gifts of Thy grace to us. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION (Luke 12:42)

The faithful and wise servant, whom his lord setteth over his family, to give them their measure of wheat in due season.

May the pleading of blessed Robert, the Abbot, for us, as well as the reception of Thy Sacrament, protect us, O Lord, that we may both share in the glory of his works, and receive the help of his intercession. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT WILLIBALD
O God, the Rewarder of faithful souls, grant that by the prayers of blessed Willibald, Thy Confessor and Bishop, whose venerable feast we celebrate, we may obtain pardon. Through our Lord . . . 

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