Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

April 1 | Encouragement

Saint Hugh of Châteauneuf

A.D. 1053–1132

There is a saying in the Talmud: "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.’”

You may remember that quote from January 26, when we discussed the theme of passing on the faith. But it has a much wider application. That angel is encouraging every little blade of grass to grow, and he is a model for what we all hope to be for others: an angel of encouragement.

Saint Hugh of Châteauneuf gave words of encouragement so powerful that they led a group of priests to found a new monastic order.

Saint Hugh was born in 1053 in the town of Châteauneuf, France. His mother was known for her life of prayer and almsgiving, so perhaps it was her encouraging influence that stoked Hugh's faith. Eventually he was appointed Bishop of Grenoble, however, was able to uplift the clergy and laity to pursue a life closer to God, and soon the diocese became a beacon of virtue. 

His most enduring legacy of encouragement came when he provided Saint Bruno a home in the Chartreuse Mountains. Saint Hugh encouraged Bruno to dream boldly, and take practical steps to turn his dream into reality. Bruno wanted to form a new monastic order, but he only had a few followers. Hugh welcomed those few followers into the mountains as well, and nurtured the fledgling community, understanding that solitude and contemplation were paths to profound communion with God. 

Eventually, they became organized enough to found the Order of the Carthusians. And none of it would have been possible without the constant encouragement of Saint Hugh of Châteauneuf.

From time to time, we all need to be encouraged. It is encouragement from those we love that gives us courage when we are afraid, hope when we are in despair, light when it appears that darkness will prevail, faith when we are consumed by doubt, joy when it seems that sorrow has overcome us, and peace when unrest holds our hearts hostage.


I will be an angel of encouragement to the people around me.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Grenoble (City in France) and Headache Sufferers

Symbols: Lantern and three flowers

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Venantius

Canonized: April 22, 1134

Canonized By: Pope Innocent II

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