Lives of Saints and Blesseds

October 26
St. Gilbert, Abbot, * unknown, † June 5, 1152

On the advice of Ornifius, the Premonstratensian abbot of Dilo, Gilbert, a knight from the high nobility of the Auvergne, took part in the second Crusade (1147-1149) which St. Bernard had preached in Vézelay and which was led by the French King Louis VII. This crusade ended, however, in a military disaster. As a survivor of this perilous undertaking Gilbert, together with his wife Petronilla and his daughter Ponzia, decided to dedicate himself to God and enter a monastery. He gave part of this substantial fortune to the poor and established the convent of sisters at Aubeterre, in which his wife and daughter entered. After he had become a Premonstratensian in Dilo, Gilbert founded the Abbey of Neuffontaines and became the first abbot there around 1151. Following the model of St. Norbert he set up a hospital which quickly became well-known because of the miracles that occurred there. Penitent and charitable he cared for the many suffering people himself. Seriously ill children especially were brought to him. After he laid hands on them he returned them healed to their parents. Gilbert died on June 5, 1152 exhausted from penance and hard labor.

Relics: none available
Approbation of cult: January 22/March 8, 1728 by Benedict XIII.
Representation: as a Premonstratensian with outstretched hand and people in need, as abbot and builder or consulting with architects, with a model of a church/monastery, as giving a blessing, with attributes of service in battle at his feet.

God, who called Your abbot St. Gilbert away from the riches of the world, so that he might enter into the way of poverty, grant, we beseech You, that entering into the way of humility, we may strive to serve our brothers. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.