You May Not Know: St. Hubert of Liege

It’s almost Halloween… this saint will protect you from a popular, spooky creature…

A French noble living in the middle of the seventh century, St. Hubert of Liege was one of those types of people everyone liked. His winning personality led to his appointment to illustrious court positions, as well as a prestigious marriage to the daughter of a count. Sadly, his wife died giving birth to their first and only son.

Hubert sought comfort in hunting, his favorite pastime. He avoided the court and spent most of his time in the woods, trying to forget his heartache in “the thrill of the chase.”

Image result for st hubert's key

On the morning of Good Friday, Hubert continued his own sorrowful routine. The hunter came across a stag so magnificent it would make a patronous pale in comparison. While smack dab in the middle of a hot pursuit , the animal stopped, turned and faced the hunter. Astonished, Hubert stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the unusual object erected between its antlers. It was a crucifix, complete with beaming rays of sunlight. Then, Hubert heard a voice saying:

“Hubert, unless you turn to the Lord, and lead a holy life, you shalt quickly go down into hell.”

Hubert did repent, seeking guidance from the future St. Lambert. As God would have it, Hubert himself became a priest first, and then eventually a bishop. As bishop, Hubert distributed his revenues among the poor, was diligent in fasting and prayer, and became famous for his great preaching. So many “pagans” converted to Christianity because of Hubert, he is often called the “Apostle of the Ardennes.” He predicted the date of his own death and died peacefully in his sleep. He is the patron saint of hunters, archers, dogs, forest workers, and trappers.

What does this have to do with Halloween?

It is said that St Hubert could heal deadly diseases such as rabies, or infections from dog bites and wolf bites.  After he died, people continued to come to his abbey looking for aid. The monks began to give them something called “St Hubert’s Key” – a metal charm shaped like a cross, cone, or metal nail.  The charm  was supposed to be able to rid the body of disease (like rabies or other infections) caused by a dog or wolf bite.  It is believed the fresher the bite, the more effective the treatment, which involved heating the charm and placing it on the bite to sterilize the wound.

Then, during the Middle Ages, “werewolves” became a big concern. Since Hubert was already called upon for protection with rabid dogs and wolves,  it seemed natural to call upon his aid when one thought they might encounter a werewolf. If he could protect one from rabies, he could protect you from becoming a werewolf– right?

Thus, St. Hubert is also known as the patron saint of “fear of werewolves.”

During the next full moon, or even tomorrow before you go out for Halloween, add St Hubert to your list of intercessors to speak with before you leave the house.

St. Hubert — pray for us!

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