High of Lincoln

Hugh (C. 1135 – 1200) was born at Avalon in Burgundy. He became a monk at age 24 and later, at the request of King Henry II of England, was called to be the prior of the first Carthusian house in England, located in Somerset. Under his direction the house flourished, and he became the bishop of Lincoln, in 1186.

Under his bishopric, he chose learned men to help him govern, and he rebuilt his cathedral, held synods and visited the parishes of his diocese confirming, baptizing, and consecrating churches.

He was not afraid to excommunicate lay people who refused to recant their heretical views, nor to admonish kings, and would not appoint unbelieving men of wealth to church benefices.

Hugh was also fond of animals, and had a pet swan that he fed from his hand who would follow him about and even kept watch over him by night. Hence, his reliefs often show him with his pet swan standing at his feet. The accompanying picture is of the statue of Saint Hugh at the Saint Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church in Huntington Station, New York

Hugh encouraged his lay people to have a charitable heart, to be careful with the wiles of the tongue and to live chaste lives. May we, too, seek to follow his example and heed his admonitions.

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