Friday, 17 November 2017

Hugh of Lincoln

Hugh (1135-1200), bishop of Lincoln. Born in Avalon, eastern France, he entered a priory, together with his father, at the age of 8 following the death of his mother, becoming a deacon aged 19. He entered the Grande Chartreuse, becoming procurator, before leaving to become prior of Witham in Somerset, the first English Carthusian house. He was elected Bishop of Lincoln in 1186, and proceeded to establish his independence from King Henry II, who had undergone penance for the murder of Thomas Becket. As the cathedral at Lincoln had been badly damaged in an earthquake the previous year, Hugh instigated its rebuilding in the new Gothic style. He was also to act as diplomat to France for both Kings Richard and John. His emblem is a white swan, from the story of the swan which is said to have been his companion at Lincoln, constantly following him, and even protecting him while he slept at night.


O God,
who endowed your servant Hugh
with a wise and cheerful boldness
and taught him to commend to earthly rulers
the discipline of a holy life:
give us grace like him to be bold in the service of the gospel,
putting our confidence in Christ alone,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


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