Lives of Saints and Blesseds

February 10
Bl. Hugh of Fosses, Abbot, * c. 1093, † February 10, c. 1164

When Hugh joined Norbert he had been the court chaplain to Bishop Burchard of Cambrai. Previously he was a cleric in the chapter of canons of his home town Fosses-la-Ville near Namur. He met St. Norbert on March 26, 1119 in Valenciennes. He was especially attracted by Norbert’s ideal of a radical following of Christ and soon became his right hand and deputy in the leadership of the mother abbey of Prémontré. After the founder of the Order was appointed archbishop of Magdeburg, the confreres chose their prior Hugh after 1128 as the first abbot of Prémontré. He built the abbey church and the convent buildings. To maintain unity among the numerous foundations of Norbert, he called a meeting of the superiors of all the houses; from this there later developed the general chapter. In addition he drew up the first Statutes and the first ceremonial book of the Premonstratensian Order with its liturgical regulations, as well as having the life of St. Norbert put into writing. Thanks to Hugh an arrangement was set up which made it possible for the young Order to continue through the centuries. He is considered the organizer and first abbot general of the Premonstratensians; he had an essential part in the inner consolidation and the rapid flourishing of the Order. Under his direction it grew to over 100 monasteries. In 1161 Hugh resigned after 33 years as abbot of Prémontré and died on February 10, presumably in the year 1164.

Relics: Rome
Approbation of cult: July 13, 1927 by Pius XI.
Representation: as a member of the Order with cowl, as abbot, with chalice and almutium, with a model of a church, book of the Statutes/liturgy, in encounter with Burchard and Norbert, presented by Norbert to the Resurrected Christ.

Almighty eternal God, who are always calling new men so that they might make Your way known to others, we humbly entreat You through the merits and intercession of Your abbot Blessed Hugh, that by praying and working, we may build up Your people into one. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.