The Fellowship of Life
An Address on St. Hubert
(First Bishop of Liege)
A.D 656 - 727
By the "Founder" of the International League of St. Hubert - Cusworth Rectory, Doncaster, Yorkshire; April 1951. Reproduced in pamphlet form during 1964:
"All Living things are Sacred and Precious before their Creator"
Some of you may have seen the picture of St. Hubert's conversion from a hunter into a Saint. But through a strange misrepresentation St. Hubert's picture has been misunderstood throughout the ages, because he has been portrayed as the Patron Saint of Hunting, which he certainly was not, after his vision of a stag with a crucifix between his antlers. Even last year on the anniversary of his Festival (which falls on November 3rd), in a church in Paris, he was portrayed as the Patron of Hunting, and we lost no time in pointing out this misrepresentation, both to the church in Paris and to the press in London, and, strange to say, the reply was a very cordial one.
St. Hubert was a Knight of France, born in the 7th Century.
One Good Friday morning when he was hunting and about to shoot a magnificent stag in the Forest of Ardennes, he perceived a crucifix between the antlers and he heard a voice saying "Hubert, turn to the Lord and live a Holy Life." He was so overwhelmed that he humbly knelt and cried "O little stag, I see thou hast the Lord, and if thou hast, all have, and it pitieth me to think how many times I have slain Christ."
From that moment he realised that all living creatures were sacred and precious to their Creator. He decided to give up hunting, and renouncing all the pleasures of his gay life, he lived as a simple hermit on the hallowed spot where the vision had been vouchsafed to him. In course of time he became famous for his piety, and was made Bishop of Liege in 708 A.D.
Yet the perversity of men's hearts made him the patron of the sport which he had renounced, because he realised the practice was contrary to the principles of TRUE Religion. The year 1951 finds mankind still persecuting helpless creatures without any realisation that they "are sacred and precious in the sight of God."
In 1934, The International League of St. Hubert came into being, to Restore the Vision to its Proper Significance, and we pray that the same vision may be re-born in us who are banded together once again after many centuries, to carry out our Divine Lord's work in the preparation for the humane era, which must come about before peace can come to mankind.
Our ideals are high and possibly too hard for many people to accept, because the obligations for Membership are as follows: (In U.S.A. we have been stated to be the only Religious Society holding these views)
(1) To abstain from all forms of flesh food, i.e. fish, meat of every kind, fowls and birds of the air.
(2) To abstain from the wearing of all furs, substituting in every case a fabric material.
(3) To abstain from hunting, shooting, trapping and fishing.
(4) To pray without ceasing that the terrible cruelty to animals in all its forms, all over the world, will cease, and to work for that end.
Looking at the matter from a purely Christian standpoint without any sentimentality, let us ask ourselves "Is it necessary that animals should be born and bred to suffer so grievously?" and to ask further if any of us are worth the agonies which we cause them in so many ways? Emphatically NO! There is no excuse whatsoever. It is a hideous remnant of prehistoric ages, condoned to-day on the fallacious ground that meat is necessary for our health and well-being.
The fact that we allow the awful curse of Vivisection to be rampant in our midst, without considering the pain and continual loss of lives in so-called scientific experiments is based on the same un-Christian fallacy of self-interest.
The practice of Vivisection rests on this vile lie which the "forces of evil" have put into our minds, because "evil" delights in suffering. Therefore the human mind accepts these things as normal and necessary. Even the orthodox religious teachings are embedded in them and nothing but a miracle from heaven will cause that wall of granite to fall. Only the power of our Divine Lord Himself and of His Saints can create the vibration which will break those rock-bound traditions into a thousand pieces.
For that end we must pray without ceasing . Let our prayers ascend to the throne of God every minute of the day and night.
There is an Animal's Chapel in London now which has been dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, so use it and let your earnest prayers set in motion the vibrations which will cause cruelty to cease. Let your love for animals reach out to all suffering creatures all over the earth.
There are now many such Animal Shrines in our Counties and abroad where prayers are offered for suffering animals.
If you are not aware of the dreadful things which are taking place, read the pamphlets and become acquainted with it now.
If you have children who will not touch meat and who show great love and understanding for animals, thank God for it, because they surely are the children of the New Race which is advancing over the earth, and through their example the desire for flesh food will gradually become non-existent.
Human beings must purify themselves from cruelty, lust and desire, before their feet can return to the throne of God, offering themselves as applicants to re-build the earth, which they have ruined and made sordid by their former ignorance, and selfishness and cruelty towards their younger brethren - the Animal Creation.
The gateway to peace and happiness stands open to us all if only we will but cast away our cruel customs and become purified.
Let us all prepare for that great day of Return to our Father's House, when, having learnt to do His will upon earth, we may say with St. Hubert through life and through death:
"Our Father Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name,
Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."
Then we shall know that we have built the New Jerusalem.
The League became laterally known as the Order of St. Hubert and closely associated with the early Fellowship of Life: Christmas Carol Service
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