St. Hubert

“Protector from Rabies ,
Patron of Hunters , Shooters
and Equestrians”

( Günther Schlieker 2016 )

Nicolaes de Bruyn, St. Hubert (detail)

Father of the Par Force Hunt

( Döbel 1746 )

30 May 727
Consummated 1290 Years Ago

but “up to our day
one of the most popular saints”

( Schlieker )

Hubert after 1290 Years

En vogue, en vogue. Indeed “down to our day one of the most popular saints”, so Günther Schlieker who should know. And listing by illustration in his documentation a whole plenty of the plenty united under his name as hunters, shooters and equestrians. “This tricks up quite exceptionally” Thomas Mann would mock here, too. United, but also internalized?

And this question mark is the crux of the matter.
Now. As seen here. After 1290 years.

As a characteristic of the later-born. For whose fathers as hunters, shooters and equestrians Hubert still was self-conception. Also as club name for sure. Yet foremost, if the whole habitus was right, for the man, for the women, himself, herself. Not the merry hunt dish held in his name was the be-all and end-all of the connection, but the spiritual strength which leapt over, the certainty fed by trust that there are things between heaven and earth which cannot be explained. For this reason also an as worldly-wised as realistic, resolute lady lighted a candle in Godesberg chapels when passing. It shouldn’t hurt …

Through the decades, down to the late 80s, none of the more high-quality hunting/Ridinger collections served here for which the patron saint was not considered indispensable. When for instance a collector acting marketwide called but a few days after the respective offer was mailed and, hearing he was too late, dryly commented: I thought as much. And so I was particularly glad to pass on to him later a doublet of the British Museum. Yesterday’s stories.

Just as the veterinary officer Günther Schlieker’s contact with the saint dates back to the 70s. When a farmer’s wife presented him with “a so-called ‘Hubert key’ with the remark that the grandfather … as veterinary practitioner had used this cautery with suspicion of rabies and also as a preventive against rabies still in the 90s of the 19th century.” Given to him with the result of 45 years Hubert research. With the result of a documentation without equal, unrepeatable. But not without — his, too — résumé according to which “ now also

the image of St. Hubert as patron saint wanes more and more .”

Inevitably due not least to a peu à peu breaking away of the rooted medium-sized field of whole sectors.

Hubert Once & Now

Indeed. Still! For just they have become fewer, they still are there. The young joining the circle, collecting with unvaried old-fashioned vigor, even downright frantically. To them this 1290-year-memorial shall be dedicated. Presented not without grateful remembrance of the fathers

to whom already St. Hubert was self-conception .

niemeyer’s — where St. Hubert Trophies are affordable

“ It may be presumed that

Hubert ( Hugbertus , Hugobertus , Chuchobertus )

was born in the years between 655 and 665 …

It is certain only that he was disciple of St. Lambert, the bishop of … Maastricht (episcopal see already since c. 595) and after his assassination (698 or 705) became successor on the episcopal throne. Little is known about his episcopal career … actually only as much

that he Christianized the Ardennes …

and later [720] removed his episcopal see to Liège. Here … (he) died May 20, 727 and was entombed in St. Peter (built by him) in the vicinity of a side altar. November 3, 743 the remains were … raised

( — cf. color ill. Schlieker 5/1a in Rogier’s van der Weyden studio painting of c. 1440 De Vos, 1999, C11 with color detail ill. 131, else, too, the full-page color ill. 72 in the 2009 exhibition catalog Der Meister von Flémalle und Rogier van der Weyden — )

and entombed anew by the main altar … By this to the then conception the canonization … was accomplished. The day of the removal, November 3, is still today the saint’s day (after Theodora Lepique, Der Volksheilige Hubertus in Kult, Legende und Brauch, Diss. Bonn 1951, pp. 10 & 12).

Although no certain data on his origins exits, it is nevertheless worth to follow a trace handed down to us. ‘May 13, 706 – quoted after Kühn 1994 – one Chuchobertus episcopus appears in a deed of gift of Pepin II (P. of Herstal, Mayor of the Palace 679-714) and his wife Plectrude for the Echternach Abbey in the list of witnesses. This bishop Chuchobertus presumably is no less a figure than St. Hubert. The position of the name in the list of witnesses as fourth after the names of the donator couple and their son Drogo is remarkable. Without stretching things one should conclude that bishop Hubert must have stood in a special relationship to Pepin and Plectrude.’ Bishop Hubert certainly will have been a relative of the above named, from which one can conclude that Hubert belonged to the then high nobility ”

(Schlieker, op. cit., p. 23 [spacing/centering not in the original; additions in square brackets after Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., XIII, 1889, 751 and with regard to the ambiguous reference to Tongern as episcopal see Wikipedia March 6, 2017]).

In analogy to Schlieker’s inference of high nobility then also Meyers VIII, 751 f.:

“ Son of Bertrand, Duke of Guienne

[— the old Aquitaine in the SW of France with Bordeaux as ducal seat

came by marriage to Henry Plantagenet, since 1154 as Henry II king of England, who 1169 ceded it to his son Richard the Lionheart, since 1189 as Richard I King of England, by which, due to his French and English possessions, he advanced to the mightiest sovereign of Europe after emperor Frederick Barbarossa and as such the same year assumed the command of the Third Crusade (1189-1192) for the reconquest of Jerusalem from the troops of sultan Saladin, then, 1196, ceded Aquitaine/Guienne to his nephew Otto IV of Brunswick, 1198-1218 (uncontested yet only 1208-1211) Roman-German king and 1209-1218 emperor of the Holy Roman Empire with the Staufen Frederick II (“On the Art to hunt with Birds”) as anti-emperor since 1215. – In the later course of time first only temporarily, then from 1453 as the latest reverted permanently to France (after Meyers VII, 910 f. & Wikipedia as above) — ] ,

“ first lived at the court of the Frankish king Theoderic, later with Pepin of Herstal [near Liège], he withdrew from the world after the loss of his wife and was appointed bishop by pope Sergius I … according to the legend a passionate hunter until he, much affected by the appearance of a stag showing between golden antlers a cross in an aureola, abdicated the pleasure of the hunt (and became) the patron saint of hunters and his tippet the most effective means against the bite of mad dogs in folk belief. ”

On the latter Schlieker page 15 and then further page 25:

“ According to the legend an angel had delivered the tippet to Hubert abiding – before the episcopal consecration – with the pope as present of the Blessed Virgin. The tippet was the thing most affected by the saint’s charism. For the faithful the tippet was so to speak a part of the saint …

September 21, 825 the remains of St. Hubert … were raised anew and brought to the Andain Abbey (soon after renamed to Saint-Hubert) – situated in the Ardennes – … Already here it shall be mentioned that the remains of the saint, which had been preserved through centuries in a precious shrine at Saint Hubert … are not to be found – whole – since the 17th century …

About (recte, see below, for) the mid of the 9th century, thus about 100 years after the death of St. Hubert, a monk of Saint-Hubert Abbey reports of miracles which had happened by the grave of bishop Hubert … However, there is none which could be related to a patronage of the hunt or rabies (Lepique p. 75). ”

According to Schlieker, only for the 10th century there are at first “traces of a veneration of Hubert in a calendar of the diocese of Treves”, followed by miracle stories of a monk of Hubert Abbey from the late 11th century, which shall have happened in the 10th, probably even in the 9th century, always according to Lepique (pp. 20 & 75 f.). First in regard of rabies, then getting in medias res …

“ In previous centuries he was accorded a great veneration not only in the region of Liège, his domain as bishop, and the little town of Saint-Hubert in the Ardennes … but also in the adjacent regions. He was protector from rabies, patron of hunters, shooters and equestrians.

Rabies and hunt patronage of saint Hubert
belonged closely together in previous centuries ” 

(Schlieker p. 9). Interrupted nonetheless by an interim high of veneration of Diana from about 1680 till 1850, so Sigrid Schwenk in Diana – Ein Nachruf auf die fast vergessene Göttin der Jagd, in Blüchel, Die Jagd, vol. I [1996], pp. 210-215. See on this, too, Ridinger’s Young Huntresses in the Character of Diana.

“ It came!  My plate [already documented as lost] was delivered and it is in excellent condition. I cannot explain all of the delays or what happened. It is in the original packaging that you described and it was delivered by DHL, not the postal service (as  far as I can tell – it was left on the porch [!!]). So thank you and so glad that this long story has such a nice ending. It was nice dealing with you, thank you for the plate! ”

(Mrs. J. C., May 8, 2010)