Saint Robert the Monk

June 7

d. 1159

St. Robert was born at Gargrave in Yorkshire, England where he served as rector after ordination, before joining the Benedictines in Whitby. He and some fellow monks founded Fountains Abbey in 1132, which was affiliated with the Cistercians. The Abbey was known for its rectitude and holiness. Six years later St. Robert and twelve of the monks left for Newminister Abbey, where he was made abbot. In addition to founding three more abbeys, our Saint wrote a commentary on the Psalms. He ruled as abbot until his death on June 7. He is buried there; his tomb became a place of pilgrimage. When he died the monks who were gathered around heard a voice from Heaven say, "Enter into Heaven."

St. Robert had great care for the poor who often came to the Abbey to find food and clothing. He was in the habit of always eating only after the poor had been fed. His generosity bore fruit in a miracle. One day while looking out the window he saw a poor man approaching. He took his own plate and gave it to the man. The next day at dinner time the plate appeared in the air, shining with gold. The monks then realized that the poor man had been Christ Himself.


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