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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Hugh, and Robert Grosseteste, Bishops of Lincoln, 1200, 1253.

Bishop Hugh was as thoroughly attractive and virile a figure as ever graced the pages of English history. He was an able sportsman, a lover of children and of animals, an excellent administrator, and a man whose humor and kindness charmed the English court. Although a man of strong temper himself, Hugh was one of the very few who could calm the raging of King Henry II.

Hugh was a native of Avalon, Burgundy, in what is now France. He came to England as abbot of the Charterhouse monastery at Witham in Somerset. Later he was elected Bishop of Lincoln, then the largest diocese in England.

He was a vigorous opponent of injustice of any kind, a sort of ecclesiastical Robin Hood. He boldly supported the peasants in defiance of the king"s harsh forest laws. On more than one occasion he faced, alone, rioting mobs, incensed against the Jews. He refused to allow the powerful and popular King Richard I to raid the church"s treasury to support his crusades. If ever the title “prince of the church” was appropriate for a bishop, it was appropriate for Hugh of Lincoln.

O God, as your servant Hugh did feed your sheep by his word, and guide them by his example, so may we. Amen.

Holy God, our greatest treasure, you blessed Hugh and Robert, Bishops of Lincoln, with wise and cheerful boldness for the proclamation of your Word to rich and poor alike: Grant that all who minister in your Name may serve with diligence, discipline and humility, fearing nothing but the loss of you and drawing all to you through Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you in the communion of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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