St. Norbert of Xanten Speaking in Tongues

Translation and analysis of St. Norbert of Xanten. A 12th-century Christian who is claimed to have spoken in tongues.

The medieval biography of the Saints called Acta Sanctorum only includes a brief reference to him and it is not clear whether it was a miraculous act. Perhaps it was a description of St. Norbert as a very charismatic and intelligent communicator. Great eloquence and showmanship can cross linguistic barriers even if the audience doesn’t understand the language being spoken.


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St. Norbert of Xanten speaking in tongues: source texts

Source text and an important French commentary about St. Norbert of Xanten speaking in tongues.

The following Latin source is derived from Acta Sanctorum. AASS, June I, 815 v. 24

24. . . . In crastinum ergo fecit sermonem ad populum vix adhuc aliquid sciens vel intelligens de lingua illa (k), Romana videlicet, quia numquam eam didicerat : sed non diffidebat, quin, si materna lingua verbum Dei adoriretur. Spiritus sanctus, qui quondam centum viginti linguarum erudierat diversitatem ; linguæ Teutonicæ

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