The Third Order of Saint Norbert

The Premonstratensian Order is a community of religious brothers and sisters who take vows of common life in poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the Rule of St. Augustine and their own Constitutions. This community also includes priests and laypeople (both brothers and sisters) who, although not religious themselves, have an inner affinity for the Norbertine foundation and join Premonstratensian religious communities as places for Christian fellowship and spiritual encouragement. This affiliation is known as the Third Order.

Jesus Heals the Sick at the Pool of Bethesda, a section of the fresco from the Strahov Monastery Chapter Hall, which illustrates an excerpt from Chapter 5 of the Gospel of John. The presence of Jesus is healing...

What is the Third Order of St. Norbert?

The Third Order of Saint Norbert is an association founded by Saint Norbert, the founder of the Premonstratensian Order, and is considered the oldest third order in the Church. Saint Norbert, as an apostolic preacher, attracted many faithful followers through his devout and exemplary life. To serve and continue to spread the apostolic mission among them, he established additional monasteries. Many of these Christians wished to maintain a close and lasting connection with Norbertine monasteries to enrich their spiritual lives, collaborate with them, and provide assistance. They were thus admitted to the Third Order and received a white scapular or its symbol as a sign of their affiliation with the Norbertine Order.

The history of the Third Order, like that of Norbert's entire foundation, is long, rich, and diverse. However, it has always involved the affiliation of its members with a specific religious community, focusing on spiritual support, friendship, and collaboration.

The contemporary era is also suitable for life within the Third Order. Individuals who join the Third Order are believers who associate themselves with a particular Norbertine brotherhood or sisterhood community, and they are admitted by a superior. They unite with the religious brothers and sisters to honor God and, in their family life, employment, and surroundings, live out the principles of Norbert's foundation to the best of their abilities. The community assists the tertiaries spiritually and, when possible, in concrete situations that life presents.