Roman Rite Calendar - 11/17
Also known as
Hugh of Avalon
Hugh of Burgundy
Son of William, Lord of Avalon. His mother Anna died when he was eight, and he was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit. Monk at 15. Deacon at 19. Prior of a monastery at Saint-Maxim. Joined the Carthusians in 1160. Ordained in 1165. In 1175 he became abbot of the first English Carthusian monastery, which was built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.
His reputation for holiness spread through England, and attracted many to the monastery. He admonished Henry for keeping dioceses vacant in order to keep their income for the throne. He resisted the appointment, but was made bishop of Lincoln on 21 September 1181. Restored clerical discipline in his see. Rebuilt the Lincoln cathedral, destroyed by earthquake in 1185.
Denounced the mass persecution of Jews in England in 1190-91, repeatedly facing down armed mobs, making them release their victims. Diplomat to France for King John in 1199, a trip that ruined his health. While attending a national council in London a few months later, he was stricken with an unnamed ailment, and died two months later.
Hugh's primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stowe which had a deep and lasting friendship for the saint, even guarding him while he slept.
1135 at Avalon Castle, Burgundy, France
16 November 1200 at London, England of natural causes
buried in the Lincoln Cathedral
18 February 1220 by Pope Honorius III
first canonized Carthusian
All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index