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April 29th - St. Hugh of Cluny

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Apr 29, 2005, 1:15:13 PM4/29/05
April 29th - St. Hugh of Cluny

The saints, even those canonized, are like the stars: some are of
greater magnitude than others. One reason why the monastic reformer St. Hugh
is called "the Great" is precisely because his contemporaries recognized him
as "a major planet."
Hugh, the eldest son of a French count of Burgundian background, had so
clear a calling to become a Benedictine monk that he entered the monastery
of Cluny when only 14. Ordained a priest when only 20, and named prior of
the monastery that same year, he was elected abbot in 1049 when only 25:
surely a token of high esteem among his brethren.
Pope St. Leo IX soon saw his worth. The two became promoters of
monastic reform. Under Pope Leo and his eight successors, Abbot Hugh was
constantly traveling to and fro in Europe on missions of great importance to
church and state.
Not that he neglected his monastery. Cluny, too, profited by his
guidance and example, and under St. Hugh several reformist daughter
monasteries were established in various European countries. Hugh also
founded a monastery for nuns, presided over initially by his sister; and he
opened a hospital for lepers, where he loved to wait on the sick personally.
St. Hugh served his Church and his monks until he was 85. When he knew
that he was dying, he asked to be carried to church. There he lay upon
symbolic sackcloth and ashes, until death came.
Hugh the Great was canonized only 11 years after his death. That in
itself indicates the consensus that he was not only a saint but a great one.
A description of the saint by his disciple Heribert gives us a good
idea of why St. Hugh was universally admired.
"Insatiable in reading, indefatigable in prayer," wrote Heribert, "he
employed every moment for his own progress or for the good of his neighbor.
It is hard to say which was the greater, his prudence or his simplicity.
Never did he speak an idle word; never did he perform a questionable act.
Anger, except against sin, he never knew. His advice, even when addressed to
individuals, was serviceable to all. There was in him more of the father
than of the judge, more of clemency that of severity. He was tall of stature
and striking in appearance, but his spiritual endowments far surpassed his
bodily graces. When he was silent, he was conversing with God; when he
talked, he spoke of God and in God. He could always deal with whatever he
undertook, for he gave it his entire attention. He loved, in their due
order: God above and beyond all, his neighbor equally with himself, and the
world beneath his feet."
Many generous people have bequeathed their wealth for the benefit of
posterity. How much nobler is the heritage of good example bequeathed to
mankind by people like St. Hugh the Great? And how splendid on the part of
all of us if we are able to leave to those who survive us the encouraging
memory of a blameless life! It is like the heritage left by the risen Christ
-- Father Robert F McNamara

Bible Quote

8 He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the
cross. 9 For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a
name which is above all names: 10 That in the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
(Philippians 2:8-10)


At Milan, St. Peter Martyr, of the Order of Preachers. To the very end of
his life he preserved the dazzling jewel of virginity. With great energy he
fought against the heretics by his preaching and teaching. When he was
fatally stabbed by the heretics and lay dying on the ground, he wrote with
his own blood the Catholic doctrine he had so staunchly defended in life. He
died April 6. A totum duplex feast of the second class.

At Rome, the birthday of St. Catherine of Siena, virgin, of the Third Order
of St. Dominic. She was renowned for her life and miracles, and the
Sovereign Pontiff, Pius II, included her name among those of the holy
virgins. Her festival, however, is kept on April 30.

At Paphos on Cyprus, St. Tychicus, a disciple of the Apostle St. Paul. The
same Apostle, in his Epistles, calls him: "Dearest brother and faithful
minister and fellow servant in the Lord." (10)

At Pisa in Tuscany, St. Torpes, martyr. He was a man of high standing in the
household of Nero, and one of those whom the Apostle St. Paul mentioned when
he wrote from Rome to the Philippians: "All the saints salute you, but
especially they who are of Caesar's household."(11) Afterward, at the
command of Satellicus, Torpes was beaten, savagely, scourged and delivered
to the beasts to devour. As he was uninjured by them, his martyrdom was
ended by his being beheaded.

At Cirta in Numidia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Agapius and
Secundinus, both bishops. They had been exiles at Cirta for a long time when
the persecution of Valerian began, a persecution in which the rage of the
heathens sorely tested the faith of Christians. Agapius and Secundinus were
transformed from exemplary priests to glorious martyrs. In their company,
there also suffered a soldier named Aemilian, two consecrated virgins,
Tertulla and Antonia, and a certain woman with her twin children.

On the island of Corcyra, seven repentant thieves who were converted to
Christ by St. Jason and obtained by martyrdom life everlasting.

At Naples in Campania, St. Severus, bishop. One of his remarkable deeds was
to raise a dead man from the grave for a short time so that he might convict
of falsehood the lying creditor of a widow and her children.

At Brescia, St. Paulinus, bishop and confessor.

In the monastery of Molesmes in Gaul, St. Robert, who was the first Abbot of

10. Ephesians, 6:21; Colossians, 4:7.
11. Philippians, 4:22.

Saint Anthony, Generator of Charity

Dear St. Anthony, God wants us to see Christ, our brother, in
everyone and love Him truly in word and in deed. God wills
that we share with others the joy of His boundless love. St.
Anthony, Generator of Charity, remember me in the Father's
presence, that I may be generous in sharing the joy of His
love. Remember also the special intentions I now entrust to
you. (Name them.)

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