Lent: April 1st
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Other Commemorations: St. Hugh of Grenoble, Bishop (RM)
|Free eBook: Feeling Trapped|
» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!
The Liturgy is already inviting us to live in spirit Christ’s Passion and Death. In the Gospel we hear the death sentence passed onto Jesus by the High Priest and the Council.
St. Hugh of Grenoble (1053-1132) is commemorated today in the Roman Martyrology. He was born in 1053 at Chateauneuf, France, and elected Bishop of Grenoble at the age of twenty-eight to purge the diocese of its disorders, and he occupied the see until his death fifty-two years later in 1132.
Meditation—The Daily Cross
"He that taketh not up his cross, and followeth Me, is not worthy of Me" (Mt 10,38). By these words, the divine Master expressly declares that one of the indispensable conditions for being His disciple is to carry the cross. The word cross, however, should not make us think only of special sufferings, which, while not excluded, are not generally our portion. First of all, we must think of those common daily disagreeable things which are part of everyone's life and which we must try to accept as so many means to progress and spiritual fruitfulness.
It is often easier to accept, in a burst of generosity, the great sacrifices and sufferings of singular occurrence, than the little, insignificant sufferings, closely connected with our state of life and the fulfillment of our duty: sufferings which occur daily under the same form, with the same intensity and insistence, among endless and unchanging circumstances. These may include physical ailments caused by poor health, economic restrictions, the fatigue attendant upon overwork or anxiety; they may be moral sufferings resulting from differences of opinion, clash of temperaments, or misunderstandings. Herein lies the genuine cross that Jesus offers us daily, inviting us to carry it after Him—an unpretentious cross, which does not require great heroism, but which does demand that we repeat our Fiat every day, meekly bowing our shoulders to carry its weight with generosity and love. The value, the fruitfulness of our daily sacrifices comes from this unreserved acceptance, which makes us receive them just as God offers them to us, without trying to avoid them or to lessen their weight. "Yea, Father, for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight" (Mt 11,26).
—Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.C.D.
St. Hugh of Grenoble
It was the good fortune of Saint Hugh to receive, from his cradle, strong impressions of piety through the example and solicitude of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateauneuf in Dauphiné, France, in 1053. His father, Odilo, who served his country in an honorable post in the army, labored by all means in his power to make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punishments, to restrain vice. By the advice of his son, Saint Hugh, in his later years he became a Carthusian monk, and died at the age of one hundred, having received Extreme Unction and Viaticum from the hands of his son. Under his direction, his mother had served God in her own house for many years by prayer, fasting, and abundant almsgiving; and Saint Hugh also assisted her in her last hours.
Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction; in his youth he was recognized as such through his exceptional success in his studies. Having chosen to serve God in the ecclesiastical state, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence. His great sanctity and learning rendered him an ornament of that church, and at the age of twenty-seven he was chosen Bishop of Grenoble. Pope Gregory VII consecrated him in Rome, and inspired in him an ardent zeal for the Church’s liberty and the sanctification of the clergy. He at once undertook to reprove vice and reform abuses, at that time rampant in his diocese but found his efforts without fruit. He resolved, therefore, after two years, to resign his charge, and retired to the austere abbey of Casa Dei, or Chaise-Dieu, in Auvergne.
There Saint Hugh lived for a year, a perfect model of all virtues in a monastery filled with saints, until Pope Gregory commanded him, in the name of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge, saying: “Go to your flock; they need you.” This time his sanctity effected great good in souls. His forceful preaching moved crowds and touched hearts; in the confessional he wept with his penitents, and aroused in them a deeper contrition. After a few years the face of his diocese had changed. His charity for the poor led him to sell even his episcopal ring and his chalice to assist them. During his episcopate the young Saint Bruno came to him for counsel, and it was Saint Hugh who assisted him in the foundation of the Carthusian Monastery in the mountains of the diocese of Grenoble, whose renown after a thousand years has not diminished.
Always filled with a profound sense of his own unworthiness, he earnestly solicited three Popes for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude, but was never able to obtain his request. God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before He called him to Himself. He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April in 1132, two months before completing his eightieth year. Miracles attested the sanctity of his death, and he was canonized only two years afterward, by Pope Innocent II.
—Excerpted from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints
Patronage: against headaches; Grenoble, France
Symbols and Representation: carrying a lantern; one of a group of seven stars, representing the founders of the Carthusians; pictured with Saint Bruno; pictured with three flowers in his hand
Highlights and Things to Do:
- Try making Mock Turtle Soup. St. Hugh for a time lived in a Carthusian monastery as a simple monk. Legend has it that once, on arriving, he found the monks assembled in the refectory but with nothing to eat. He was told that some benefactor had indeed given them fowl but their rule forbade the eating of meat. When Saint Hugh saw their predicament, he promptly made the sign of the cross and changed the fowl into turtles.
- Read more about St. Hugh:
- Watch this YouTube video on St. Hugh of Grenoble and this video on Le monastère de la Grande Chartreuse (Isère - France) which St. Bruno and St. Hugh founded together.
- Learn more about the Carthusian Order here.
- The entire name of the Carthusians is "Order of the Chartreuse." The liqueur Chartreuse originates from the Carthusians. Find out the history and toast a glass of Chartreuse to St. Hugh today.
- Other toasting ideas is drinking wine from the Châteauneuf region. Most Châteauneuf-du-Pape bear the traditional logo which resembles the coat of arms of Vatican City: an insignia showing the papal three-crowned tiara (a.k.a. triregnum) above the keys of St. Peters with the words “Châteauneuf-du-Pape”.
- There is a titular church in Rome Sant'Ugo Vescovo located in the northern suburbs of Rome, dedicated to Saint Hugh of Châteauneuf.
- St. Hugh was interred in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Grenoble, France, but later his relics were burned by the Huguenots in the 15th century.
Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
Station with San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran):
The Station in Rome is in the church of St. John Lateran which represents the Holy City Jerusalem which Christ and we, His disciples, have just entered. It is the first cathedral of Rome, where Emperor Constantine allowed the Pope to set up the episcopal chair after 312.
For more on San Giovanni in Laterano, see:
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.