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Who was St. Hubert?

St. Hubert was born in 656 A.D. in the European city of Maastricht. He was the eldest son of Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine; and grandson of Charibert, King of Toulouse, a descendant of the great Pharamond.

As a youth, Hubert went to court where his charming manners won universal esteem, gave him a prominent position among the courtiers, and led to his investment with the dignity of "count of the palace". He was a lover of pleasure, his chief passion being for the hunt to which pursuit he devoted nearly all his time.

In 682 he married Floribanne, daughter of Dagobert, Count of Louvain, and gave himself entirely up to the pomp and vanities of this world. But a great spiritual revolution was imminent.

On Good Friday morning, when the faithful were crowding the churches, Hubert sallied forth to the chase. As he was pursuing a magnificent stag, the animal turned. Hubert was astounded at perceiving a crucifix between its antlers, while he heard a voice saying: "Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest an holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell".

Hubert dismounted, prostrated himself and said, "Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?"

He immediately received the reply, "Go and seek Lambert and he will instruct you."

Hubert's wife died in childbirth shortly after his vision in the woods. He decided to renounce all his honors, titles and military rank, and he relinquished his birthright as heir to the Duchy of Aquintaine, giving it to his younger brother Eudon, whom he also made the godfather of his infant son.

Hubert sought out Lambert, the Bishop of Maastricht, who received him kindly antd became his spiritual advisor. Hubert became Bishop after Lambert's death, and continued the church's ministry. He died on May 30, 727 A.D.

St. Hubert was widely venerated in the Middle Ages, and many military orders were named after him. For more on his life and ministry, see the Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Hubert.

Hubert's representation is a stag bearing a cross or crucifix between its antlers; the emblem has become the Master Hunter's (in German, Jagermeister) Badge of Honor.

The Jagermeister liquer logo is that of a stag with a shining cross suspended between the antlers. Surrounding the symbol is a phrase in German: "This is the hunter's badge of honor, which he protects and wears as his shield, to guard, while in the fine and honorable profession of hunting; which also honors the Creator and his creations."

The term Jagermeister is applied to those who have rightfully earned the respect of their peers and regular citizens as well. German heritage requires much more of hunters than simply passing an eight-hour safety course before being issued a license; in that country it is a privilege to go afield with a firearm and the sport requires many seasons of apprenticeship.

For more on hunting traditions and rituals passed to us from the Middle Ages, see Mitch Ballard's fascinating "Hubert, Patron Saint of Hunters".

And if you wish, ask a blessing of St. Hubert while hunting your next deer or elk.

St. Hubert is the Patron Saint of hunters - an appropriate patron for a community which lies in the ehart of elk country; also of mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers. His feast day is the 3rd of November.

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