St. Gilbert was born at Sempringham, on the border of the Lincolnshire fens, between Bourne and Heckington, sometime between 1083 and 1089. His father, Jocelin, a wealthy Norman knight who had come to England with William the Conqueror, held lands in Lincolnshire. His mother was a Saxon of inferior origin, and was said to have dreamed before St. Gilbert’s birth that she was holding the round moon in her lap, which was taken to be a sign that the child would rise to greatness. Jocelin prevented his son from becoming a knight himself — perhaps due to some physical deformity — and set him instead to France to study for an ecclesiastical career.  Continue Reading

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