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BLESSED NOKTER OF ST. GALL, A.K.A. NOKTER THE STAMMERER, NOKTER OF ST. GALL, NOKTER THE POET, NOTKER, AND NOTKAR (CIRCA 840-912)
Roman Catholic Monk
His Feast Transferred from April 6
Blessed Nokter possessed a brilliant and trained mind, as well as a deep love of God and great spiritual wisdom. Eloquent speech was not one of his gifts, but profundity was.
Born to a prominent Swiss family, Nokter studied under St. Tutilo (Feast Day = March 28) at the Abbey of St. Gall. The Blessed became a monk at that monastery, where he served as a librarian, a teacher, a chronicler of martyrs, an author of chant sequences, and a poet. According to his biographer, Ekkehard IV, Nokter was “delicate of body, but not of mind, stuttering of tongue but not of intellect, pushing boldly forward in things Divine, a vessel of the Holy Spirit without equal in his time.”
During Blessed Nokter’s lifetime the political map shifted around St. Gallen. Keeping up with all these changes and several ephemeral kingdoms requires great patience, and more than one king named Charles reigned in the region. One of these Charleses visited the Abbey of St. Gall from time to time to seek Nokter’s advice. (The king chose not to follow much of this counsel, so why did he make the trips?) One piece of Nokter’s advice was this: “Take care of your garden as I am taking care of mine.” In other words, take care of your kingdom and your spiritual life. The royal chaplain objected to Nokter’s counsel. One day he challenged the monk, saying, “Since you are so intelligent, tell me what God is doing right now.” The Blessed replied, “God is doing right now what he has always done. He is pushing down those who are proud and raising up the lowly.”
The Roman Catholic Church beatified Nokter Balbulus in 1512.
Blessed Nokter was able to achieve his potential and compensate for his deficiencies because of the combination of his efforts and the support of his faith community, which benefited from his spiritual gifts. May you, O reader, help others do their best for God and their fellow human beings, including you. And may others do the same for you.
Loving God, we thank you for the example of the holy life of your servant, Blessed Nokter Balbulus. May we, supported by each other, likewise fulfill our vocations, to your glory and the benefit of many. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
FEBRUARY 6, 2011 COMMON ERA
THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A
THE FEAST OF MARCUS AURELIUS CLEMENS PRUDENTIUS, POET AND HYMN WRITER
THE FEAST OF GEORGE VI, KING OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND (Another Stammerer)