The Life of St. Hugh of Lincoln - Vol. 1

The Life of St. Hugh of Lincoln - Vol. 1

The Life of St. Hugh of Lincoln - Vol. 1

The Life of St. Hugh of Lincoln - Vol. 1

Excerpt

St. Hugh of Lincoln, the only professed Carthusian monk ever to be a bishop in England, was born about 1140 at Avalon near Grenoble in Imperial Burgundy. He was the third and youngest son of a knight, who retired to the cloister of the Austin Canons at Villarbenolt after the death of his wife, and took Hugh with him, then only eight years old. In due time the latter was professed there as a canon and was placed in charge of a parish when still only a deacon, but at the age of about twenty-five he joined the nearby monastery of the Grande Chartreuse in obedience to a call which seemed irresistible. There, in a solitude which was seldom disturbed, he lived the semi-eremitical monastic life of prayer, reading and work, among beautiful but austere mountain surroundings.

In course of time he was appointed to the office of Procurator, which included the charge of the lay brothers, the guests and the whole temporal administration. His abilities and spiritual worth were made known by a knight of the neighbourhood to king Henry II, who obtained him in about 1179 as prior of Witham, his languishing Carthusian foundation in Somerset, begun a year or two before. So successful was Hugh in this charge and so acceptable to Henry II that the latter secured his election as bishop of Lincoln in 1186. Hugh did all he could to avoid the charge, but once he had accepted . . .

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