dimanche 1 avril 2012

Saint HUGUES de GRENOBLE, évêque et confesseur


Saint Hugues

On célèbre aujourd'hui à la fois Saint Hugues de Grenoble, qui, évêque du diocèse, en 1080, démissionna pour devenir bénédictin à la Chaise-Dieu, et son neveu, le Bienheureux Hugues de Bonnevaux, cistercien à Maisières, en Bourgogne, puis abbé de Léoncel, à Bonnevaux, en Dauphiné. Saint Hugues mourut en 1132, c'est lui qui accueillit Saint Bruno à la Chartreuse. Le Bienheureux Hugues mourut, lui, en 1194.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/04/01/5815/-/saint-hugues

Saint Hugues

Né à Chateauneuf-d’Isère en 1053, il était chanoine de l’église cathédrale de Valence quand l’évêque Hugues de Die, légat de Grégoire VII en France, le prit comme conseiller. Choisi malgré lui comme évêque par le clergé de Grenoble (1080), il fut sacré à Rome par Grégoire VII. Après deux ans de luttes inutiles contre la simonie et le mauvais comportement de son clergé, il se retira à l’abbaye de la Chaise-Dieu d’où Grégoire VII lui ordonna de sortir pour retourner dans son diocèse.

Trois ans plus tard, il vit en songe Dieu apparaître au milieu des montagnes de Chartreuse et y construire un temple magnifique couronné de sept étoiles. Quelques jours après saint Bruno et six de ses amis vinrent solliciter sa protection et il les conduisit dans les montagnes de Chartreuse. Souvent, Hugues allait faire retraite chez les moines de Chartreuse où il vivait comme les moines et profitait des conseils de saint Bruno. Même quand il fut avancé en âge, les papes refusèrent qu’il démissionât de sa charge épiscopale où il mourut le 1° avril 1132, vendredi avant les Rameaux, après avoir supporté de cruelles infirmités.

Innocent II le canonisa le 22 avril 1134. Pendant les guerres de religion, son corps fut brûlé sur la place publique par les protestants du baron des Adrets

SOURCE : http://missel.free.fr/Sanctoral/04/01.php

Saint Hugues, évêque de Grenoble, recevant Bruno, fondateur de l'ordre des Chartreux.
Les sept étoiles représentent le songe de Saint Hugues, lui indiquant où guider Bruno et ses six compagnons pour fonder le monastère de la Grande-Chartreuse.


Évêque de Grenoble

(1053-1132)

Saint Hugues naquit à Châteauneuf-d'Isère, près de Valence, en Dauphiné. Pendant que sa mère le portait dans son sein, elle eut un songe où il lui semblait mettre au monde un bel enfant que saint Pierre, accompagné d'autres saints, emportait dans le Ciel et présentait devant le trône de Dieu. Cette vision fut pour ses parents un présage de hautes et saintes destinées; aussi soignèrent-ils son éducation et n'hésitèrent-ils pas à favoriser sa vocation ecclésiastique.

Choisi, jeune encore, par l'évêque de Valence, pour être chanoine de sa cathédrale, il se vit, à vingt-sept ans, obligé d'accepter le siège épiscopal de Grenoble, devenu vacant. Il voulut recevoir l'onction épiscopale des mains du Pape Grégoire VII, qui, connaissant à l'avance son mérite et ses vertus, lui dévoila toute son âme et lui inspira un zèle ardent pour la liberté de l'Église et pour la sanctification du clergé.

Hugues trouva son évêché dans le plus lamentable état; tous les abus de l'époque y régnaient en maîtres. Le nouveau Pontife fit d'incroyables efforts pour raviver la foi et relever les moeurs; ses efforts étant infructueux, il résolut de quitter sa charge et se réfugia au monastère de la Chaise-Dieu; mais bientôt le Pape, instruit de ce qui se passait, lui ordonna de retourner à son évêché et de préférer le salut des âmes à son repos personnel.

C'est dans les années suivantes que saint Bruno vint fonder dans son diocèse l'admirable institution de la Chartreuse. Hugues allait souvent dans cet ermitage et vivait avec les Chartreux comme le dernier d'entre eux; son attrait pour la solitude était si fort, qu'il ne pouvait se décider à quitter cette austère retraite, et Bruno se voyait obligé de lui dire: "Allez à votre troupeau; il a besoin de vous; donnez-lui ce que vous lui devez."

Cependant Hugues, par la puissance de sa sainteté, opérait un grand bien dans les âmes; ses prédications véhémentes remuaient les foules et touchaient les coeurs; au confessionnal, il pleurait souvent avec ses pénitents et les excitait à une plus grande contrition. Après quelques années d'épiscopat, son diocèse avait changé de face.

Parmi ses hautes vertus, on remarqua particulièrement sa modestie et sa charité. Dur pour lui-même, il se montrait prodigue pour les pauvres et alla jusqu'à vendre pour eux son anneau et son calice. Toujours il se montra d'une énergie indomptable pour la défense des intérêts de l'Église; il restera toujours comme l'un des beaux modèles de noble indépendance et de fier courage. Son exemple apprend aussi que si le salut des âmes est une chose inestimable, il ne s'opère souvent qu'au prix d'une longue persévérance et d'une grande abnégation.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_hugues_de_grenoble.html


Saint Hugues de Grenoble

Évêque de Grenoble (✝ 1132)

Né à Châteauneuf sur Isère, dans le département de la Drôme, il était le fils d'un officier. Saint Hugues était chanoine de Valence quand le légat du Pape Grégoire VII le nomma au siège épiscopal de Grenoble dans le Dauphiné. A cette époque, une grande partie du clergé de ce diocèse était d'une moralité particulièrement déplorable. Au bout de deux années, Hugues, découragé, se retira à l'abbaye de la Chaise-Dieu dans le Velay. Il y vécut quinze mois parfaitement heureux, jusqu'au jour où un ordre pontifical lui enjoignit d'aller réoccuper son siège épiscopal. Ce fut lui qui procura à saint Bruno, son ancien professeur de Reims, la solitude inaccessible qu'il cherchait pour y fonder son Ordre. Il l'installa dans la vallée de la Grande-Chartreuse d'où il tire son nom. Hugues y séjournait le plus souvent possible. Saint Bruno, qu'il avait pris comme directeur spirituel, eut souvent fort à faire pour l'empêcher de ruiner sa santé à force d'austérités. Il lui interdit notamment de vendre le cheval qui lui servait pour visiter son diocèse, comme il avait vendu, pour aider les pauvres, l'anneau pastoral qu'on lui avait offert et son calice le plus précieux. Saint Hugues prit une part importante au concile de Vienne (1077) où fut condamné l'empereur Henri IV, l'habile simulateur de Canossa devant le pape Grégoire VII.

Saint Hugues et Saint Bruno :

Le diocèse de Grenoble voit naître ou s'établir de nombreuses communautés et de grandes figures religieuses.

En 1084 saint Bruno s'installe avec l'accord de saint Hugues, évêque de Grenoble, en Chartreuse et fonde l'ordre des Chartreux. Saint Hugues est lui-même connu pour avoir libéré l'Église du pouvoir des laïcs, et considéré comme le véritable fondateur du diocèse car il en fixe le territoire. Il fonde aussi le monastère de Chalais. (L'histoire du diocèse)

"L’évêque de Grenoble est né vers 1053 à Chateauneuf-sur-Isère dans la famille des seigneurs du lieu.

Chanoine de l'Église de Valence, il fut associé à la réforme entreprise par Grégoire VII et son légat, Hugues évêque de Die. Devenu évêque, il accueillera saint Bruno au désert de Chartreuse. Il aurait voulu embrasser lui-même la vie monastique à la Chaise-Dieu. Il meurt après plus de cinquante ans d’épiscopat, le 1er avril 1132." (Saint Hugues, Évêque de Grenoble - diocèse de Valence)

À Grenoble, en 1132, saint Hugues, évêque, qui travailla à réformer les mœurs du clergé et du peuple et, au cours de son épiscopat, ardemment désireux de solitude, conduisit saint Bruno et ses compagnons dans le désert de la Chartreuse, et dirigea avec soin son Église en lui donnant l’exemple, pendant près de cinquante ans.

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/901/Saint-Hugues-de-Grenoble.html

Saint Hugues

Évêque de Grenoble (1053-1132)

Saint Hugues naquit à Châteauneuf-d’Isère, près de Valence, en Dauphiné. Pendant que sa mère le portait dans son sein, elle eut un songe où il lui semblait mettre au monde un bel enfant que saint Pierre, accompagné d’autres saints, emportait dans le Ciel et présentait devant le trône de Dieu. Cette vision fut pour ses parents un présage de hautes et saintes destinées ; aussi soignèrent-ils son éducation et n’hésitèrent-ils pas à favoriser sa vocation ecclésiastique.

Choisi, jeune encore, par l’évêque de Valence, pour être chanoine de sa cathédrale, il se vit, à vingt-sept ans, obligé d’accepter le siège épiscopal de Grenoble, devenu vacant. Il voulut recevoir l’onction épiscopale des mains du Pape Grégoire VII, qui, connaissant à l’avance son mérite et ses vertus, lui dévoila toute son âme et lui inspira un zèle ardent pour la liberté de l’Église et pour la sanctification du clergé.

Hugues trouva son évêché dans le plus lamentable état ; tous les abus de l’époque y régnaient en maîtres. Le nouveau Pontife fit d’incroyables efforts pour raviver la foi et relever les moeurs ; ses efforts étant infructueux, il résolut de quitter sa charge et se réfugia au monastère de la Chaise-Dieu ; mais bientôt le Pape, instruit de ce qui se passait, lui ordonna de retourner à son évêché et de préférer le salut des âmes à son repos personnel.

C’est dans les années suivantes que saint Bruno vint fonder dans son diocèse l’admirable institution de la Chartreuse. Hugues allait souvent dans cet ermitage et vivait avec les Chartreux comme le dernier d’entre eux ; son attrait pour la solitude était si fort, qu’il ne pouvait se décider à quitter cette austère retraite, et Bruno se voyait obligé de lui dire : \"Allez à votre troupeau ; il a besoin de vous ; donnez-lui ce que vous lui devez.\"

Cependant Hugues, par la puissance de sa sainteté, opérait un grand bien dans les âmes ; ses prédications véhémentes remuaient les foules et touchaient les coeurs ; au confessionnal, il pleurait souvent avec ses pénitents et les excitait à une plus grande contrition. Après quelques années d’épiscopat, son diocèse avait changé de face.

Parmi ses hautes vertus, on remarqua particulièrement sa modestie et sa charité. Dur pour lui-même, il se montrait prodigue pour les pauvres et alla jusqu’à vendre pour eux son anneau et son calice. Toujours il se montra d’une énergie indomptable pour la défense des intérêts de l’Église ; il restera toujours comme l’un des beaux modèles de noble indépendance et de fier courage. Son exemple apprend aussi que si le salut des âmes est une chose inestimable, il ne s’opère souvent qu’au prix d’une longue persévérance et d’une grande abnégation.

SOURCE : http://viechretienne.catholique.org/saints/983-saint-hugues

St. Hugh of Grenoble

St. Hugh of Grenoble (1052-1132), who served as a bishop in France for 52 years, had his work cut out for him from the start. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church property, religious indifference and/or ignorance. After serving as bishop for two years, he’d had his fill. He tried disappearing to a monastery, but the pope called him back to continue the work of reform.

Ironically, St. Hugh was reasonably effective in the role of reformer—surely because of his devotion to the Church but also because of his strong character. In conflicts between Church and state he was an unflinching defender of the Church. He fearlessly supported the papacy. He was eloquent as a preacher. He restored his own cathedral, made civic improvements in the town and weathered a brief exile.

St. Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order.

St. Hugh died in 1132. He was canonized only two years later.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/st-hugh-of-grenoble/

Hugh of Bonnevaux, OSB Cistercian, Abbot (AC)
Died 1194. A nephew of Saint Hugh of Grenoble, Saint Hugh of Bonnevaux became a Cistercian monk at Mezières. In 1163, he was made abbot of Léoncel, and, in 1169, promoted to the abbacy of Bonnevaux. Hugh possessed singular powers of discernment and exorcism, but he is chiefly remembered as the mediator between

Hugh of Grenoble, OSB B (RM)

Born near Valence in the Dauphiné, France, in 1052; died in Grenoble, France, on April 1, 1132; canonized by Pope Innocent II in 1134. What an amazing modesty Saint Hugh possessed! You may shrug your shoulders, of course. The 20th century is without modesty and doesn't appreciate it. There is something about the modesty of Saint Hugh that governed and colored his life, yet repels and confounds us. We have lost the taste for that virtue in a world where we live like haggling beasts: industrious, envious, quarrelsome, wretched beasts!


By contrast Saint Hugh took to heart Saint Paul's admonition: "Let love be sincere . . . love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. . . . do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation" (Romans 12:9, 16). And again Paul urges: "Do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves. . . ." (Philippians 2:3).

When Hugh of Grenoble was born at Châteauneuf, the French churchmen were very undisciplined. He was the son of the second marriage of Odilo, a knight of excellent reputation, who later became a Carthusian monk. His father lived to the venerable age of 100, before he died in his son's arms after having received viaticum from him. Odilo's goodness inspired his son to greatness.

As a youth, Saint Hugh was a pupil of Saint Bruno at Rheims. He later studied in the best foreign centers for education.

Good looks and a diffident manner, added to his abilities, seem to have helped Hugh's swift rise in ecclesiastical office. He won all hearts through his courtesy and modesty that led him to underrate his own talents and learning. Hugh, though a layman, was made a canon of Valence Cathedral at age 25, and set out to reform the church. Bishop Hugh of Die soon saw the young man's zeal and appointed the young man to his household. This bishop was particularly keen to stamp out simony (that is sale for personal gain of positions in the church) and Hugh played a huge part in his campaign.

In 1080, the bishop took Hugh to a council at Avignon. One of the purposes of the council was to sort out the disorders that had arisen in the diocese of Grenoble, whose bishop had just died.

To Hugh's surprise, the participants decided that this 27-year-old was by far the best person to be consecrated bishop. He protested that he was only a layman.

"But I repeat to you that I am not worthy of it!" sighed Hugh.

"What fairy tale is this that you're telling me?" asked the papal legate, Bishop Hugh of Die. "Who is asking you to act on your own strength? Count first on God, who will give you help."

Nevertheless, the bishop ordained him and then took him to Rome where the pope consecrated Hugh as bishop though he was barely 30.

Hugh discovered that diocese of Grenoble was in a far worse state than he had imagined. Although the clergy had taken vows of celibacy, many of them lived more or less openly with women. Influential laymen had seized most of the property of the church. Hugh manfully set about putting matters aright. He was unpopular with the nobility, whose confiscation of church property the bishop dealt with firmly. Only Hugh, however, failed to see the excellent results of his policies. Two years after his consecration, believing that he had vainly opposed these disorders, as well as simony and usury, through sermons, threats, example, fast, and prayers, Hugh left the city and withdrew to the abbey of Chaise- Dieu (Cluniac).

This was the first of several times he despaired because of his lack of progress and went to live as a monk. "But I repeat to you that I can't do anything that's good and worthwhile!" he complained gently to those who wanted him to give up this sudden Benedictine vocation and his seeming lack of faith.
Each time the pope insisted that he must take up the struggle again. "Very well, granted. You can't do anything, my son," Pope Saint Gregory VII said to him, "but you are bishop, and the sacrament can do everything." Each time Hugh obeyed. This first time it took a year of discussion before Hugh returned to Grenoble with a crushing sense of his unworthiness and inferiority.

Bishop Hugh of Grenoble sustained the papacy in its dispute with Emperor Henry V, and was persecuted for his loyalty. Grenoble was in the emperor's territory, but his flock rallied to his support.
It was then, in 1084, that Saint Bruno and his companions came in search of silence, solitude, and a perpetual conversation with God on the fringes of the scandals of the world. Hugh was waiting for them. He rolled up his cassock and, like a guide, led them through the craggy rocks of the desert called the Chartreuse. He gave this land to the monks who built there the famous monastery of Grande Chartreuse. The charter Hugh gave them still exists.

Hugh knew the way to the Grande Chartreuse very well, and often visited the monks. He came so often, in fact, and liked it so much that Saint Bruno often had to send him away, reminding him of his flock and episcopal duties. When he visited them in their solitude, Hugh would join in their exercises and perform the most menial tasks. Hugh saw himself as a bad bishop and wanted nothing more than to stay in the monastery. Hugh's close association with the Carthusians has ensured the custom that the diocesan bishop was always expected (contrary to other monastic orders) to guide and cherish Charterhouses in their diocese.

During his 52-year episcopacy, Hugh vainly tendered his resignation to each pope--Gregory VII, Gelasius II, Calixtus II, Honorius II, Innocent II, and others--and they refused him because of his outstanding ability. He never ceased imploring them to release him from the duties of his episcopal office up to the day of his death. During his last, painful illness he was tormented by headaches and stomach disorders that resulted from his long fasts and vigils, yet never complained. For a short time before his death, he lost his memory for everything but prayer, and would recite the Psalter and the Our Father unceasingly.

It was this humility--which once almost became a blasphemy against Divine Providence--that unwittingly made Hugh such a good bishop. Out of the fear and shame that he was better nourished, housed, and dressed than the poor, he sold his ring, other jewels, furs, a golden chalice, and ornaments to raise money and gave it to those in need. His generosity stirred other rich men to liberally follow his example.

He wept when he heard a penitent's confession and when the disorders of his retinue were brought to his attention, he blamed himself as though it were a personal fault. Hugh also founded three hospitals at Grenoble, built a marketplace, and provided a stone bridge over the Isere, in addition to restoring the cathedral and Saint Laurence's Church. For 52 years Hugh labored as bishop of Grenoble, dying at age 79, having restored the diocese both financially and morally.

He took upon himself all the sins of others, and the cross that he carried was so heavy laden, so holy, and so redemptive that two years after his death, he was canonized amid the jubilation of the people and of his church. By order of Pope Innocent II, Hugh's Carthusian friend Gigues wrote the saints Life which brings out the attractiveness of this modest man's character (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Walsh).


In art, Saint Hugh is a bishop seeing a vision of seven stars. Sometimes he is shown (1) with a lantern; (2) with three flowers; (3) with Saint Bruno, to whom he entrusted the Grande Chartreuse; or (4) turning partridges served to Carthusians on a fast day into tortoises (Roeder). Zurbaran gave Hugh a prominent place in his paintings of the early Carthusians in the museum of Seville (Farmer). Saint Hugh is invoked against headache (Roeder).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0401.shtml

St. Hugh of Grenoble (1052-1132), who served as a bishop in France for 52 years, had his work cut out for him from the start. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church property, religious indifference and/or ignorance. After serving as bishop for two years, he’d had his fill. He tried disappearing to a monastery, but the pope called him back to continue the work of reform.
Ironically, St. Hugh was reasonably effective in the role of reformer surely because of his devotion to the Church but also because of his strong character. In conflicts between Church and state he was an unflinching defender of the Church. He fearlessly supported the papacy. He was eloquent as a preacher. He restored his own cathedral, made civic improvements in the town and weathered a brief exile.
St. Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order.
St. Hugh died in 1132. He was canonized only two years later.

SOURCE : http://ucatholic.com/saints/hugh-of-grenoble/

April 1

St. Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble, Confessor

From his life, written two years after his decease, by his intimate friend Guigo, fifth prior of the great Chartreuse, by the order of Pope Innocent II. Bollandus ad Apr. 1. p. 36. Mabillon, Annal. 1. 66. n. 34. Pagi ad An. 1080. Hist. Liter. de la France, t. 11. p. 149.

A.D. 1132

THE FIRST tincture of the mind is of the utmost importance to virtue; and it was the happiness of this saint to receive from his cradle the strongest impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence in Dauphiné, in 1053. His father, Odilo, served his country in an honourable post in the army, in which he acquitted himself of his duty to his prince with so much the greater fidelity and valour, as he most ardently endeavoured to sanctify his profession and all his actions by a motive of religion. Being sensible that all authority which men receive over others is derived from God, with an obligation that they employ it, in the first place, for the advancement of the divine honour, he laboured, by all the means in his power, to make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punishments to restrain vices, those especially of impurity and lying. By the advice of his son, St. Hugh, he afterward became a Carthusian monk, when he was upwards of fourscore years old, and lived eighteen years in great humility and austerity under St. Bruno, and his successors, in the great Chartreuse, where he died one hundred years old, having received extreme unction and the viaticum from the hands of his son.—Our saint likewise assisted, in her last moments, his mother, who had for many years, under his direction, served God in her own house, by prayer, fasting, and plenteous alms-deeds.—Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction. He went through his studies with great applause, and his progress in piety always kept pace with his advancement in learning. Having chosen to serve God in an ecclesiastical state, that he might always dwell in his house and be occupied in his praises, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence. In this station, the sanctity of his life, and his extraordinary talents, rendered him the ornament of that church; and the gentleness and affability of his deportment won him the affection of all his colleagues. He was tall, and very comely, but naturally exceedingly bashful; and such was his modesty, that, for some time, he found means to conceal his learning and eloquence: nevertheless, his humility served only to show afterward those talents to more advantage and with greater lustre. For no virtue shines brighter with learning than modesty, as nothing renders scholars more odious or despicable than haughtiness and pride, which they discover by their obstinacy and clamours, by the contempt with which they treat those who dissent from them in opinion, and by their ostentatious pedantry in embracing every occasion of exhibiting their supposed superior wit and extraordinary parts.


Hugh, then bishop of Die, but soon after archbishop of Lyons, and also cardinal legate of the holy see, was so charmed at first sight of the saint, when he happened to come to Valence, that he would not be contented till he had taken the good man into his household. He employed him in extirpating simony, and in many other affairs of importance. In 1080, the legate Hugh held a synod at Avignon, in which he took under consideration the desolate condition and the grievous disorders into which the church of Grenoble was sunk, through the sloth and bad example of its late mercenary pastor. The eyes of the legate and of the whole council were fixed on St. Hugh as the person best qualified, by his virtue and prudence, to reform these abuses, and restore the ancient glory of that church; and with them the voice of the whole city conspired. But his reluctance and fears were not to be overcome till he was compelled by the repeated commands of the legate and council. The legate took our newly appointed bishop with him to Rome, in order to his receiving the episcopal consecration from the hands of Gregory VII., who then sat in the chair of St. Peter. The servant of God was glad of this opportunity of consulting the vicar of Christ concerning his own conscience; for, during a great part of his life, he had been extremely molested with troublesome temptations of importunate blasphemous thoughts against the divine providence. Pope Gregory, who was a man very well versed in the interior trials of souls, assured him that this angel of Satan was permitted by God, in his sweet mercy, to buffet him only for his trial and crown: which words exceedingly comforted the saint, and encouraged him to bear his cross with patience and joy. A devout soul, under this trial, which finds these suggestions always painful and disagreeable, ought not to lose courage; for by patience and perseverance she exceedingly multiplies her crowns, and glorifies God, who has laid it upon her shoulders, and who will, when he sees fit, scatter these mists, and on a sudden translate her from this state of bitterness and darkness into the region of light, joy, and the sweetest peace. St. Hugh prayed earnestly to be freed from this enemy; but received for a long time the same answer with St. Paul. 1 In the mean while, his patience and constancy were his victory and his crown: and assiduous meditation on the sufferings of our divine Redeemer, who was made for us a man of sorrows, was his comfort and support.

The pious Countess Maud would needs be at the whole charge of the ceremony of his consecration: she also gave him a crosier and other episcopal ornaments, with a small library of suitable books, earnestly desiring to be instructed by his good counsels, and assisted by his prayers. St. Hugh, after his ordination, hastened to his flock; but being arrived at Grenoble could not refrain his tears, and was exceedingly afflicted and terrified when he saw the diocess overrun with tares which the enemy had sown while the pastor slept. He found the people in general immersed in a profound ignorance of several essential duties of religion, and plunged in vice and immorality. Some sins seemed by custom to have lost their name, and men committed them without any scruple or sign of remorse. The negligence and backwardness of many in frequenting the sacraments, indicated a total decay of piety, and could not fail introducing many spiritual disorders in their souls, especially a great lukewarmness in prayer and other religious duties. Simony and usury seemed, under specious disguises, to be accounted innocent, and to reign almost without control. Many lands belonging to the church were usurped by laymen; and the revenues of the bishopric were dissipated, so that the saint, upon his arrival, found nothing either to enable him to assist the poor, or to supply his own necessities, unless he would have had recourse to unlawful contracts, as had been the common practice of many others, but which he justly deemed iniquitous; nor would he by any means defile his soul with them. He set himself in earnest to reprove vice, and reform abuses. To this purpose he endeavoured by rigorous fasts, watchings, tears, sighs, and prayer, to draw down the divine mercy on his flock. And so plentiful was the benediction of heaven upon his labours, that he had the comfort to see the face of his diocess in a short time exceedingly changed. After two years, imitating therein the humility of some other saints, he privately resigned his bishopric, presuming on the tacit consent of the holy See; and putting on the habit of St. Bennet, he entered upon a noviciate in the austere abbey of Chaise-Dieu, or Casa-Dei, in Auvergne, of the reformation of Cluni. There he lived a year a perfect model of all virtues to that house of saints, till Pope Gregory VII. commanded him in virtue of holy obedience to resume his pastoral charge. Coming out of his solitude, like another Moses descending from the conversation of God on the mountain, he announced the divine law with greater zeal and success than ever. The author of his life assures us that he was an excellent and assiduous preacher.


St. Bruno and his six companions addressed themselves to him for his advice in their pious design of forsaking the world, and he appointed them a desert which was in his diocess, whither he conducted them in 1084. It is a frightful solitude, called the Chartreuse, or Carthusian mountains, in Dauphiné, which place gave name to the famous Order St. Bruno founded there. The meek and pious behaviour of these servants of God took deep root in the heart of our holy pastor; and it was his delight frequently to visit them in their solitude, to join them in their exercises and austerities, and perform the meanest offices amongst them, as an outcast and one unworthy to bear them company. Sometimes the charms of contemplation detained him so long in this hermitage, that St. Bruno was obliged to order him to go to his flock, and acquit himself of the duties which he owed them. He being determined to sell his horses for the benefit of the poor, thinking himself able to perform the visitation of his diocess on foot, St. Bruno, to whose advice he paid an implicit deference, opposed his design, urging that he had not strength for such an undertaking. For the last forty years of his life he was afflicted with almost continual headaches, and pains in the stomach; he also suffered the most severe interior temptations. Yet God did not leave him entirely destitute of comfort; but frequently visited his soul with heavenly sweetness and sensible spiritual consolations, which filled his heart under his afflictions with interior joy. The remembrance of the divine love, or of his own and others’ spiritual miseries, frequently produced a flood of tears from his eyes, which way soever he turned them; nor was he able sometimes to check them in company or at table, especially whilst he heard the holy Scriptures read. In hearing confessions, he frequently mingled his tears with those of his penitents, or first excited theirs by his own. At his sermons it was not unusual to see the whole audience melt into tears together; and some were so strongly affected, that they confessed their sins publicly on the spot. After sermon, he was detained very long in hearing confessions. He often cast himself at the feet of others, to entreat them to pardon injuries, or to make some necessary satisfaction to their neighbours. His love of heavenly things made all temporal affairs seem to him burdensome and tedious. Women he would never look in the face, so that he knew not the features of his own mother. He never loved to hear or relate public news or reports, for fear of detraction, or at least of dissipation. His constant pensioners and occasional alms (in the latter of which he was extremely bountiful) were very expensive to him: insomuch, that though, in order to relieve the poor, he had long denied himself everything that seemed to have the least appearance of superfluity, still, for the extending his beneficent inclination, he even sold, in the time of famine, a gold chalice, and part of his episcopal ornaments, as gold rings and precious stones. And the happy consequence of St. Hugh’s example this way was, that the rich were moved by it to bestow of their treasures to the necessitous, whereby the wants of all the poor of his diocess were supplied.

He earnestly solicited Pope Innocent II. for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude; but was never able to obtain his request. 2 God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before he called him to himself. Some time before his death, he lost his memory for everything but his prayers: the Psalter and the Lord’s Prayer he recited with great devotion, almost without intermission: and he was said to have repeated the last three hundred times in one night. Being told that so constant an attention would increase his distemper, he said, “It is quite otherwise: by prayer I always find myself stronger.” In the time of sickness, a certain frowardness and peevishness of disposition are what the best of us are too apt to give way to, through weakness of nature and a temptation of the enemy, who seeks to deprive a dying person of the most favourable advantages of penance and patience, and to feed and strengthen self-love in the soul while upon the very cross itself, and in the crucible into which she is thrown by a singular mercy, in order to her coming forth refined and pure. In this fiery trial, the virtue of the saints shows itself genuine, and endued with a fortitude which renders it worthy its crown. By the same test is pretended virtue discovered: self-love can no longer disguise itself: it cries out, murmurs, frets, and repines: the mask which the hypocrite wore is here pulled off: saints, on the contrary, under every degree of torture cruelty can invent, preserve a happy patience and serenity of soul. Hence the devil would not allow the virtue of Job to be sincere before it had been approved under sickness and bodily pain. 3 St. Hugh left us by his invincible patience a proof of the fervour of his charity. Under the sharpest pains, he never let fall one word of complaint, nor mentioned what he suffered: his whole concern seemed only to be for others. When any assisted him, he expressed the greatest confusion and thankfulness: if he had given the least trouble to any one, he would beg to receive the discipline, and because no one would give it him, would confess his fault, as he called it, and implore the divine mercy with tears. The like sentiments we read of in the relation of the deaths of many holy monks of La Trappe. Dom. Bennet, under the most racking pains, when turned in his bed, said: “You lay me too much at my ease.” Dom. Charles would not cool his mouth with a little water in the raging heat of a violent fever. Such examples teach us at least to blush at and condemn our murmurs and impatience under sickness. The humility of St. Hugh was the more surprising, because every one approached him with the greatest reverence and affection, and thought it a happiness if they were allowed in anything to serve him. It was his constant prayer, in which he begged his dear Carthusians and all others to join him, that God would extinguish in his heart all attachment to creatures, that his pure love might reign in all his affections. One said to him: “Why do you weep so bitterly, who never offended God by any wilful crime?” He replied: “Vanity and inordinate affections suffice to damn a soul. It is only through the divine mercy that we can hope to be saved, and shall we ever cease to implore it?” If any one spoke of news in his presence, he checked them, saying: “This life is all given us for weeping and penance, not for idle discourses.” He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April, in 1132, wanting only two months of being eighty years old, of which he had been fifty-two years bishop. Miracles attested the sanctity of his happy death; and he was canonized by Innocent II. in 1134.

There is no saint who was not a lover of retirement and penance. Shall we not learn from them to shun the tumult of the world, as much as our circumstances will allow, and give ourselves up to the exercises of holy solitude, prayer, and pious reading? Holy solitude is the school of heavenly doctrine, where fervent souls study a divine science, which is learned by experience, not by the discourses of others. Here they learn to know God and themselves; they disengage their affections from the world, and burn and reduce to ashes all that can fasten their hearts to it. Here they give earthly things for those of heaven, and goods of small value for those of inestimable price. In blessed solitude, a man repairs in his soul the image of his Creator, which was effaced by sin, and, by the victory which he gains over his passions, is in some degree freed from the corruption of his nature, and restored in some measure to the state of its integrity and innocence by the ruin of vice, and   the establishment of all virtues in his affections; so that, by a wonderful change wrought in his soul, he becomes a new creature, and a terrestrial angel. His sweet repose and his employments are also angelical, being of the same nature with those of the blessed in heaven. By the earnest occupation of the powers of his soul on God and in God, or in doing his will, he is continually employed in a manner infinitely more excellent and more noble than he could be in governing all the empires of the world; and in a manner which is far preferable to all the vain occupations of the greatest men of the world during the whole course of their lives. Moreover, in the interior exercises of this state, a soul receives certain antepasts of eternal felicity, by which she intimately feels how sweet God is, and learns to have no relish for anything but for him alone. O my friends, cried out a certain pious contemplative, I take leave of you with these words, and this feeling invitation of the Psalmist: Come, taste yourselves, and see by your own experience how sweet the Lord is. But these and other privileges and precious advantages only belong to the true solitary, who joins interior to exterior solitude, is never warped by sloth or remissness, gives no moments to idleness, uses continual violence to himself, in order perfectly to subdue his passions, watches constantly over his senses, is penetrated to the heart with the wholesome sadness of penance, has death always before his eyes, is always taken up in the exercises of compunction, the divine praises, love, adoration, and thanksgiving, and is raised above the earth and all created things by the ardour of his desires of being united to God, the sovereign good.

Note 1. 2 Cor. xii. 9.

Note 2. St. Hugh is ranked among ecclesiastical writers, chiefly on account of his Chartulary, or collection of Charters, with curious historical remarks, kept in MS. at Grenoble: from which Dom. Maur. d’Antine has borrowed many things in his new edition of Du Cange’s Glossary, &c. 


Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/4/011.html

Saint Hugh of Grenoble

Also known as
  • Hugh of Châteauneuf
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Son of a soldier named Odilo, a man known for his Christian life, and who later became a Cistercian monk; his mother was known for her life of prayer and alms-giving. Uncle of Saint Hugh of Bonnevaux. Hugh was an exceptionally good student as a child. Canon in the cathedral of Valence, France at age 25. Bishop of Grenoble, France in 1080 at age 27, consecrated by Pope Gregory VII; he served there for 52 years. He went to Grenoble as a reformer, but after two years, convinced that he had not improved the lives or the holiness of his clergy, he resigned and retired to become a Benedictine monk at Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne, France; after a year of this, Pope Gregory ordered him back to Grenoble. This time his work and his example paid off – large crowds attended his preaching, his clergy brought new zeal to their ministry, the poor were cared for, and religious life had a new start in his diocese. He gave land to Saint Bruno for La Grande Chartruse abbey, and helped him found the Carthusians. Gave both his mother and his 100 year old father their Last Rites. A frequent sufferer of head pain and headaches, which led to his patronage of the problem.

Born
  • carrying a lantern
  • one of a group of seven stars, representing the founders of the Carthusians
  • with Saint Bruno
  • with three flowers in his hand

SOURCE : http://catholicsaints.info/saint-hugh-of-grenoble/

Voir aussi : Albert du Boys, Ancien magistrat. Vie de Saint Hugues, évêque de Grenoble suivie de la vie de Hugues II, son successeur; d'un extrait d'une biographie de S. Hugues, abbé de Léoncel, et d'une notice chronologique sur les évêques de Grenoble : http://www.bibliotheque-dauphinoise.com/vie_saint_hugues.html