Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The Legend of St. Hubert

Hubert, the oldest son of the Duke of Aquitane, was born about year 656 in what is today called France. As a youth, Hubert was handsome and strong. Since battles were fought with bow and arrow, he soon learned the archer's art. Riding and hunting, especially stag and deer, occupied most of his time. Because of his charming manner, Hubert held a prominent postion among the courtiers and seemed to have given himself up entirely to the pomp and vanities of the world. His mother, a devout woman, prayed for him constantly.
At the age 26, Hubert married Floribonne, the daughter of Count of Louvain. She made Hubert conscous of his duties to the Church and by her example, he began to change, losing many of his worldly habits. After a little more than a year of marriage and the birth of a son, his wife became ill and soon died. Hubert was filled with grief and soon fogot his promise to be faithful to the Church.
On Good Friday, Hubert rode out of the castle alone with bow and arrow to try to lose his sorrow in hunting. At that very hour the faithful were gathering for the Way of the Cross, but Hubert still wanted to go hunting. After more than an hour, a stately stag with high antlers came toward him. Hubert prepared to kill and as he looked again at the the fearless animal he saw a radiant crucifix between his antlers. As Hubert stared in amazement, a voice broke through in solemn silence, "Hubert, unless you turn to the Lord and lead a holy life, you shall quickly go down to hell!" Hubert dismounted, knelt on the ground, and asked the Lord what he should do. Having received a command he followed it joyfully. He gave guardianship of his son to his brother. Hubert became a priest and eventually was consecrated bishop. He prayed, fasted, preached, and converted thousands to the faith, often attracting them by his expertise with the bow and arrow.
One day in the year 726, while at prayer, Hubert was given a vision of his death and his place in heaven. Happily he waited and after a few days he became ill and died, with the words of the "Our Father" on his lips. St. Hubert was honored during the Middle Ages as the Patron Saint of Hunters and is still known today as the "archer saint". His feast day is observed on November 3rd.

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