It is the second Saturday of hunting season here in Maine, and thus it is appropriate to remember one of the patrons of hunters.
Hubert was the heir apparent to his dad, the Duke of Aquitaine. As Herbert's father might say, very good pig country. His connections carried him to the palace in Paris, where he was granted the title count palatine. It might seem like a place to hang about, but the caputsterci Mayor of the Palace, Ebroin, drove him and most everyone else away.
Pepin, the Mayor of the Austrasian court at Metz, could always find room for a young nobleman who enjoyed hunting. In fact, once again, he charmed his way into an honorific, this time grand-master of the household. That title suggested just the right sort of quality that Count Dagobert was looking for in a son-in-law; Floribanne and Hubert were married with all appropriate ceremony. Sadly, Floribanne died giving birth to Floribert (I am not making these names up). Happily, the infant survived, but Hubert was disconsolate and devoted himself entirely to hunting.
One day, deep in the Ardennes forest, he saw a stag with a crucifix between its antlers. The stag told him he'd die soon and go to Hell if he didn't repent of his worldly pursuits. Lambert was recommended as the proper guide to salvation.
If that sounds familiar, it also happened to Saint Eustacius, who had once been called Placidus. His feast was November 2, which also falls during Maine's hunting season. Some folks see this coincidence as evidence that the hagiographers were recycling events. I prefer to think that the stag appeared to more than one hunter to save his soul. Perhaps he has appeared to even more over the years, but for one reason or another not all were saved by him. I hope the good folks in blaze orange take heed if he appears to them this fall.
Hubert gave up his claim on Aquitaine to his younger brother Odo, and then he placed Floribert in Odo's care. Odo must have done a good job, because after Hubert had served some years as bishop of Maastricht, his son succeeded him.
Saint Hubert is also the patron of mathematicians. Let's hope he was with the kids in room 235 taking their SAT exams today.