Notable Norbertines Series:
Heřman Josef Tyl, O.Praem (1914 – 1993), was born in Cakov (Czec Republic), entered the novitiate of the Premonstratensian (Norbertine) Order, was ordained a priest in 1940 at the Abbey of Teplá, (founded in 1193), and eventually became Prior of his community. In 1942 he was arrested by the Gestapo and survived the concentration camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Buchenwald.
In 1948 the Communist Regime unleashed a war against churches and religious orders. All assets belonging to Teplá Abbey were nationalized and served as barracks for the Czechoslovak People’s Army for 28 years. Prior Heřman Josef, along with fellow Premonstratensians were arrested and served many years in a communist concentration camp. Although he was deprived of permission to perform religious activities, he managed to encourage and maintain his community secretly. In 1988, the underground religious community secretly elected him Abbot of Teplá.
Once set free, Prior Tyl concentrated his efforts on reviving his community’s spiritual life and in December 1989, Abbot Heřman Josef Tyl served the first mass in his Abbey church, opening a new chapter in the life of the Premonstratensian canons in Teplá. On July 19, 1990, Tepla Abbey was officially returned to the Premonstratensian Order.
(Thank you to Daylesford Abbey)