Who is St. Hubert? Th patron St. of hunting, that’s who.
The story of St. Hubert as told by Father John Sewell (An Episcopalian I think I could like) tells the story this way.
In the late 600s A.D., a “party boy” named Hubert had given himself to the vanities of life, and was obsessed with hunting. Once, he chose to pursue his sport on Good Friday, “a real no-no in that time,” and received an unexpected wake-up call from above.
During his hunt that morning, a vision of the crucifix appeared to Hubert between the antlers of a great stag. Through the creature, God spoke to him and said, “Hubert, if you don’t get your act together, you’re going to hell.”
Hubert got his act together and is now St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters.
Fr. Joe Classen has written extensively about hunting. Like this…
I’m well aware that some will be upset, and perhaps scandalized, by the notion of a priest who not only actively hunts and fishes, but who also passionately promotes it. I do get rather amusing hate-mail from time to time in which the usually anonymous author emphatically asks, “How can you, a man of God, kill his creatures?” My response is, ultimately, one word: food. While many Americans do their “hunting” at the grocery store, we in the outdoors community do it in the woods and on the waters.
In the “green” days of political correctness, environmental activism and animal rights, the American legacy of hunting is coming under more scrutiny than ever. There are many concerns in our culture for animal welfare, and a more “humane” way of living. The idea of armed, camouflage-clad individuals taking to the woods in search of their quarry is abhorred by those whose fantasy view of the natural world is based on the subjective, feel-good nonsense of Disney movies and the like.
Indeed, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about hunting these days, about its purpose and value as well as the laughable stereotypes of those who hunt and fish. There is the incredibly mistaken notion that we hunters are crazed murderers who have a sick fascination with destroying life. Unfortunately, there are people who fit that description: They are called poachers, and they are criminals!
But for those of us who passionately love hunting and all things outdoors, absolutely
nothing could be further from the truth. Hunters are the first and truest environmentalists.
We are the greenest of the green.
Hunters are not mere spectators of creation, as other nature lovers are. Rather, we are active participants as we immerse ourselves completely into God’s creation and take a hands-on role in managing our natural, renewable resources, of which animals are a big part.
I found this prayer from Fr. Mitch Pacwa.
Lord God, You have put all things under man’s dominion. Guide us to take the animals that need to be culled for the preservation of their species and the rest of the ecosystem. Let me always respect the animals I have hunted. Never let me torment them, mock them, or made them objects of ridicule. When I take an animal’s life let me always maintain respect for the wonder of its existence and the importance of its meat to those who need it for sustenance.
As I prepare to take to the woods again this weekend; St. Hubert, pray for me.