If you have an interest in the history of hunting, you may have heard about the work of Saint Hubertus. He is known as the Patron Saint of Hunters and also for his rabies-preventive key, crucifix, and feast day. His story is important to the history of the sport, as it demonstrates the role that hunting has played in the lives of many people throughout history.
1. His Life
The history of hunting goes back to the ages. A person named Hubertus became an influential saint. He helped evangelize the pagans of the Ardennes forests. His sermons revived Christian devotion.
Saint Hubertus was born in 656 in what is now France. He was the oldest son of Bertrand, the Duke of Aquitaine. In addition to his role as a bishop, he was also a passionate hunter.
He met a man named Lambert, who taught him to pray. It was after this encounter that he became a Christian. Later, he was appointed the first Bishop of Liege.
After his death, the bones of Hubertus were moved to the Benedictine Abbey of Amdain in 825. This became a major pilgrimage site.
Hubertus was a great lover of hunting and he enjoyed life in the royal court. Among other things, he gave substantial wealth to the poor.
Hubertus was a man of high intelligence and charm. He was married to Floribanne, a daughter of Dagobert, Count of Louvain. They had a son, Saint Floribert.
Hubertus was given a good education and was a very handsome man. As a member of the nobility, he received military training. When he was 10, he nearly died of a fever.
Hubertus was very enthusiastic about his career as a hunter. He also devoted much of his time to church ministry. In addition to his preaching, he gave considerable income to the poor.
Hubertus was called the Apostle of the Ardennes. He was known to have a remarkable power to heal rabies. He is also credited with being the founder of ethical hunting practices.
He was a highly revered figure in the Middle Ages. He was the patron saint of hunters, trappers, and metal workers. Several military orders were created in his honor.
2. His Work
Saint Hubertus was a French nobility member who had a major role in the history of hunting. He was a passionate hunter, a priest, and a bishop. After his wife’s death, he turned to hunt as his primary occupation. The legend of his life is told around the world.
Despite his devotion to hunting, he did not realize that God was actually hunting him. One day he was out hunting and suddenly saw a large stag with a glowing cross between its antlers. In the ensuing vision, he was inspired to follow the Lord. Afterward, he was converted to Christianity.
Hubertus later became the first bishop of Liege, Belgium, and became the patron saint of hunters. His feast day is on November 3.
St. Hubertus was born in Toulouse, France. His father, Bertrand, was a Duke of Aquitaine. At the age of ten, he was ill with a fever.
When he was a child, Hubert fell in love with the Princess of Lions. He was brought up in the utmost of court splendors. He received the best education and was trained in military warfare.
In 683, he encountered a crucifix on a stag and was converted to Christianity. As a bishop, he worked to evangelize the pagan population of the Ardennes forest.
During his time as a bishop, he saved many people from starvation. In the last years of his life, he lived as a hermit. His coffin was buried in the collegiate Saint Peter’s Church in Liege. However, during the Reformation, the coffin disappeared.
Saint Hubertus was canonized in 743. He was a hero in the Middle Ages for his work evangelizing the pagans.
3. His Feast Day
Saint Hubertus’ feast day is celebrated on 3 November. This saint is a patron saint of hunters and trappers. He was born in 656 AD near Toulouse in modern France. His eldest son was Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine.
After a brief career as a courtier, Hubert opted to follow his passion. He became a keen hunter. In fact, he became so addicted to hunting that he devoted all of his time to it.
One day, on a Good Friday, while chasing a large stag, Hubert had a vision. In this vision, he saw a crucifix between the antlers of the stag. He then heard a voice in his head, instructing him to seek out Bishop Lambert.
When his wife died shortly after the vision, Hubert focused on his passion. Upon regaining his faith, he renounced all of his wealth, including the birthright as heir to the Duchy of Aquitaine.
He lived from 656-727. At the time of his death, he was buried in a collegiate church in Liege, Belgium. However, his coffin disappeared during the Reformation. During the Middle Ages, Hubert’s remains were translated to the Benedictine Abbey of Amdain in 825.
The legend of Saint Hubertus’ life became popular through the centuries. It was said that he cured rabies and exorcised demons. As a result, he was also credited with many miracles.
Among his famous works, he is known for preaching dynamic sermons that renewed devotion to Christianity. Also, he is believed to have had an influence on hunters and conservationists.
Saint Hubertus is also considered the founder of ethical hunting practices. These methods are still followed by hunters today, especially those who use horseback to hunt.
4. His Crucifix
Hubert is a legendary figure who is often portrayed as a hunter. He was a famous evangelist in the Ardennes forests, reaching out to the pagans. In 708 AD, he became the first bishop of Liege, a city in Belgium. His feast day is on November 3rd. During the Middle Ages, he was greatly revered.
A member of the French nobility, Hubert’s life is considered to have been a long and pious one. He cured rabies and exorcised demons. He also promoted ethical hunting practices. After his death, his relics were translated to the Benedictine Abbey of Amdain in the late 820s.
Before his conversion, Hubert was unbaptized heathen. During his hunt in the year 683, he saw a crucifix on a deer’s heart. This encounter led him to a new religious path.
At the time, Hubert was pursuing a huge stag. The stag turned its head towards Hubert and showed a shining crucifix between its antlers. Hubert noticed it and thought it was a sign from the Lord.
Seeing the crucifix on the stag, Hubert was struck by a sense of divine guidance. He then sought out the Bishop of Maastricht, Lambert. Soon after, Hubert’s wife died of childbirth. Upon hearing the voice of the Lord, Hubert renounced his birthright as heir to the Duchy of Aquitaine and dedicated his life to God.
When the voice warned him that he would go to hell if he did not follow the Lord, Hubert made a vow to obey the Lord’s command. He then renounced all his wealth and honors.
His vision inspired him to devote his life to God and his ministry. He converted to Christianity and then became a bishop. During his episcopacy, he evangelized pagans in the Ardennes.
5. His Rabies-Preventive Key
St Hubertus’ rabies-preventive key in the history of hunting is a metal nail or bar with a decorative head. It was used as a remedy for rabies from the Middle Ages until the early twentieth century.
It was also used as a protective measure against rabid dogs. Dogs could be branded with this key.
It is said that Saint Hubertus’ rabies-preventive “key” was given to him by St. Peter. The key was heated red hot and plunged into the wound of a dog. This act was considered a miracle by the medieval Church.
In the middle ages, it was widely believed that rabies was caused by the ailment known as “The Cober”. This was a medieval madness, but the cure was not invented until the early twentieth century.
A person who was bitten by a rabies-infected animal was supposed to pray at the shrine of St. Hubertus, as well as use a cross or iron bar, or even a crucifix.
In the Middle Ages, rabies was treated with religious ornaments. One of the sacramentals was a golden key. Another was a red-hot iron spike. These were hung on walls as a ward against rabies.
However, this was not a practical method for preventing rabies. Rather, the preferred method was an incision of the forehead or implantation of threads from the miraculous stole of the Saint.
By the end of the Middle Ages, the only effective way to prevent rabies was to give a person an anti-rabies serum. Although there was a rabies vaccine available, only in the 1880s was it developed.
After the death of his wife, St. Hubertus became obsessed with hunting. He was a courtier and advisor to the Mayor of the Palace of the Kingdom of Franks. His responsibilities were not overly busy. But it was during this period that he met a deer.
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