Bishop Confessor ( 1053 - 1132)
A native of the Dauphine (south-eastern France), St. Hugh was made a Canon at Valence at the early age of 25 while still a layman, and as such he actively defended the reforms promulgated by pope St. Gregory VII (Hildebrand). Consecrated Bishop of Grenoble two years later by the latter, Hugh, who had been very reluctant to accept such a dignity, endeavored for two years, with great zeal but without much success, to eradicate the evils of simony and concubinage in his diocese. In 1082, convinced of his own ineffectiveness, he resigned his office and became a Benedictine monk at the austere abbey of Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne; the Pope, however, commanded him to return to his Episcopal See the following year, and each of the four succeeding Popes turned down his plea to be relieved of his duties.
It was Hugh who in 1084 personally conducted St. Bruno and his six companions to the wild Alphine solitude near Grenoble, called Chartreuse, and presented them with that land on which they then constructed their first Carthusian monastery, which came to be known as the Grande Chartreuse (Great Chartre-house)
St. Hugh visited the monks frequently to share their life of poverty, prayer and solitary study. His personal austerities and excessive fasts affected his health and were only moderated at the insistence of St. Bruno, his spiritual director.
To relieve the distress of his poor he is said to have disposed of his golden chalice and Episcopal ring, and always travelled about on foot. He was famed for his equitable judgments, which were readily accepted by both litigants. His end came on 1 April 1132, after some 40 years of physical and mental suffering and he was canonized two years later by Pope Innocent II.
Reflection :"By prayer I always find myself stronger". "Vanity and inordinate affection suffice to damn a soul" (St. Hugh of Grenoble).