Saint Hugh of Cluny
Semur-en-Brionnais, Brionnais (now Saône-et-Loire), France
|Died||28 April 1109|
Cluny, Brionnais (now Saône-et-Loire), France
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||6 January 1120 by Pope Callixtus II|
Hugh (13 May 1024 – 28 April 1109), sometimes called Hugh the Great or Hugh of Semur, was the Abbot of Cluny from 1049 until his death. He was one of the most influential leaders of the monastic orders from the Middle Ages.
Hugh was the son of Count Dalmas I of Semur and Aremberge of Vergy; his father wanted him to be a knight and a secular leader. At the age of fifteen, he took his monastic vows and later became an abbot. Abbot Hugh built the third abbey church at Cluny, the largest structure in Europe for many centuries, with funds provided by Ferdinand I of León. He was the driving force behind the Cluniac monastic movement during the last quarter of the 11th century, which had priories throughout Southern France and northern Spain.
Hugh's relationship to Ferdinand I and Alphonso VI of León and Castile, including the release of Alphonso from his brother, Sancho's prison. His influence upon Pope Urban II, who had been prior at Cluny under Hugh, made Hugh one of the most powerful and influential figures of the late 11th century.
As the godfather of the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, he also played a role as a mediator during the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV, though he was not successful. Additionally, he was an active diplomat to Germany and Hungary on behalf of the church. He died on the 28th of April, 1109. Many of his relics were pillaged or destroyed by the Huguenots in 1575.
His feast day is April 29.
- Bouchard, Constance Brittain (1987). Sword, Miter, and Cloister:Nobility and Church in Burgundy, 980-1198. Cornell University Press.
- Iogna-Prat, Dominique (2002). Order & Exclusion: Cluny and Christendom Face Heresy, Judaism, and Islam. Cornell University Press.
- Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Hugh the Great