Forty-nine years ago I was a Deacon studying at Lincoln Theological College, a short distance from the magnificent Cathedral in Lincoln, England. It was customary on November 17 to process from the College to the Cathedral where the students raised a great shout, which echoed through the huge stone cathedral, in celebration of Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, 1140-1200.

Bishop Hugh died on 16 November. Usually we commemorate people on the date of their death. However Scotland had unofficially claimed November 16 for Queen Margaret. If consulted I expected Hugh would have agreed that Margaret’s day should not be changed; “for he himself had rebuked foolish clerics who said that God disdained to be loved by women”. We remember Hugh for his stand against injustice of any kind. He boldly supported peasants in defiance of the king’s harsh laws. He tended lepers and several times, all alone, defended the oppressed from rioting mobs. Following an earthquake he rallied the people to repair the cathedral. He worked on it with his own hands. He was a lover of children, animals, and an excellent administrator of the largest diocese in England at the time. Pope Honorius III canonized him in 1220.

Saint Hugh was a shepherd and defender of the sheep.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16, Matthew 24:42-47, and “For All the Saints” page 348