A Garner of Saints – Saint Hubert

statue of Saint Hubert of Liege with the deer; date and artist unknown; Sint-Jan Evangelist Church, Tervuren, Belgium; photographed on 21 August 2010 by Wouter Hagens; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

A native of Aquitaine, or, as some say, of the Ardennes. In his youth he fled from the cruelty of the tyrant Ebroin, who was warring against France, and went to King Pepin. One Christmas Day,- when his companions had gone to church, he went into the forest to hunt. And it happened that a pure white stag appeared to him, bearing the cross between its homs, while a voice from the crucifix said, “Go to Lambert, Bishop of Maestricht, and be converted, doing penance for your sins, for by you shall the Church be exalted.” Then the stag vanished, and Hubert hurrying to Lambert related the vision to him. From this time Hubert lived a life of great piety, and after a while he proceeded on a pilgrimage to Rome. During his absence Lambert suffered martyrdom, and an angel carried his pastoral staff and put it on the altar of Saint Peter’s, while Pope Sergius received a vision directing him to appoint the pilgrim Hubert in Lambert’s place. When the pope awoke he found the pastoral staff, and greatly impressed by the vision he went to the church and scrutinised the people, but as soon as Hubert came he immediately recognised him and wished to create him bishop. Hubert refused the honour, and the pope himself doubted his vision, when suddenly an angel appeared bearing a beautiful stole and a letter exhorting Hubert to obey the will of God. After this the pope ordained Hubert Bishop of Maestricht, and the holy man went away to his see, where he distinguished himself by his sanctity and good works. After he had been ordained twelve years, Hubert received a vision directing him to remove the remains of Lambert to the spot where he had suffered martyrdom. After much prayer and fasting, in which all his clergy united, Hubert found the holy relics, and translated them with solemn pomp, many miracles being wrought on the way. Hubert himself wrought many miracles, restoring the withered hands of a woman, casting out devils, and obtaining by his prayers an abundant rain after a long drought, in which the Meuse had almost run dry. The place to which Hubert translated the relics of Lambert was Liege, and here he established his episcopal seat. Warned by an angel of his approaching end, Hubert made his final dispositions, and after consecrating the Church of Fur in Brabant, he bid farewell to his flock and died on 30th May 727. His body was immediately transported from Maestricht to Liege and buried in the church there, and the rod which they used to measure the tomb miraculously grew longer, for which reason it has been preserved in the church. Now in the days of King Charlemagne that monarch received a revelation directing him to translate the relics of Saint Hubert. But as he was not quite assured, the clergy fasted for three days and prayed for direction. And on the third day they put two books on the altar, and when they opened one they found the words Dirige viam famuli tui. Assured by this, the ecclesiastics went to the Chapel of Saint Peter on the following day at sunrise accompanied by a vast crowd of the nobility and common people and bearing the cross. Opening the tomb, they found the saint’s body perfect and without a blemish. When this was made known, Charlemagne hurried to the spot accompanied by his wife, barons, and many knights, eager to see this great miracle. And Charlemagne kissed the hands and feet of the holy man and carried the body to the altar, oflering rich gifts of gold and precious stones. After the establishment of the Abbey of Saint Hubert in the Ardennes, the monks desired to possess the relics of the saint. The matter was referred to a council at Aix by Louis le Debonnaire, and it was decided that the body should be taken to the abbey. Hubert is the patron of hunting and protector against hydrophobia. Patron saint of Liege and Juliers. 3rd November.

Attributes

  • The stag with the Cross between its horns; distinguished from Eustace by being dressed as a huntsman with his horn, or by wearing the episcopal habit.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Hubert”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 April 2017. Web. 23 June 2017. <>