lundi 6 juin 2011

St Norbert of Xanten and day of the Swedish flag.

The founder of the order of Premonstratensians (a k a White Canons or after him as Norbertines) left this earthly life on a June 6th. That was in the year 1134. So today we celebrate St Norbert. Although he was a German, he founded Prémontré in France, near Laon: it was dissolved by the French Revolution. Denmark including Scania, presently in South of Sweden, had some Norbertine monasteries, Væ being a place from which I have ancestors.

In the 19th C. a Swedish National Romantic wanted to celebrate something like a national day for Sweden: Norway, under Swedish crown already celebrated May 17th due to the constitution that Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, as King of Norway known as Karl Johann had to sign. The Swedish constitution of 1809 (written by people having deposed the lawful King after his loss against Russia of the Finnish War in which he was hampered from showing his competence) was written a June 6th, and Gustavus Wasa was elected King in 1523 also on a June 6th. This was till recently called Day of the Swedish flag, now Swedish national day.

When Gustavus Wasa was elected, he was in schism with the Pope, but not yet a Lutheran heretic. He must well have known it was the day of St Norbert, since he was raised a Catholic. It is even possible the document was dated "Helige Norberts Dag" rather than "Siette Junius", though this is more than I know. But he introduced the Lutheran heresy four years later. Also a day of St Norbert, Queen Christina abdicated the Swedish crown to convert offically to Catholicism. She too, being decided to become a Catholic, must have known, or at least been told later, it was under the patronage of St Norbert that she did this brave act.

Thanks to Defendente Genolini for noting this in his brief essay on St Norbert today. The abdication, exile and conversion were in 1654.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bibl. publ. d'Info.
June 6th YooL 2011

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