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.
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.