Benedictine Liturgical Year – Saint Hubert, Bishop and Confessor

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 CommonsRome, wishing to admit as few interruptions as possible into the great Octave of All Saints, gives but a brief notice of Saint Hubert in the Martyrology. It is fitting that we should imitate her reserve. Were we, however to omit all mention of him, Christian hunters, so faithful in proclaiming their glorious Patron, would not forgive us. It is right also to satisfy popular piety, and the gratitude of numberless clients saved from hydrophobia, and led to the feet of the Saint by a tradition of a thousand years’ standing. A few words suffice to recount his life.

After the mysterious stag had revealed Christ to him, he became, from a hunter of wild animals, a hunter of souls; and merited to be called the Apostle of Ardenne, whose forests had often echoed to the baying of his hounds. He became the disciple and successor of Saint Lambert; and transferring from Maestricht both the relics of the holy Martyr-Bishop and the Episcopal See, he raised Liege from an obscure village to a great town. His blessed death took place on 30 May 727; and on 3 November 743, his precious remains were taken up for the first time, which led to the celebration of his feast on this day. In the following century, the Abbey of Andain was put in possession of the sacred deposit; and took from him the name of Saint Hubert, as did likewise the town which sprang up around and soon became a centre for pilgrimages. Two orders of knighthood were established in honour of Saint Hubert; the first perished with the fall of the Bourbons its last chiefs; the other still exists, and the kings of Bavaria are its Grand-Masters.

Hail, glory of Confessors; hail, companion of Angels: give us present joy, which may become eternal bliss: by your prayer, well-pleasing to God, save the healthy, heal the sick.

V. The Lord has led the just man through righteous ways.

R. And shown him the kingdom of God.

Be propitious, we beseech you Lord, to us thy servants, through the glorious merits of Saint Hubert, your Confessor and Bishop, that by his loving intercession we may ever be protected from all adversities. Through our Lord.

– text taken from The Liturgal Year, volume 6, by Prosper GuĂ©ranger, 1903