Hugh of Saint-Cher

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His Eminence, the Most Reverend Lord
Hugh of Saint-Cher, O.P.
Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina (1244-1261), Cardinal Bishop of Ostia (1261-1262), Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina (1262-1263)
Tommaso da modena, ritratti di domenicani (Ugo di Provenza) 1352 150cm, treviso, ex convento di san niccolò, sala del capitolo.jpg
Province Rome
See Bishop of Ostia
Installed 1261
Term ended 1262
Predecessor Rinaldo di Jenne
Successor Henry of Segusio
Ordination c. 1227
Consecration 1261
Created Cardinal 1244
Personal details
Born c. 1200
Saint-Cher, Dauphiné
Died 19 March 1263
Orvieto, Papal States
Nationality Dauphinois
Denomination Roman Catholic

Hugh of Saint-Cher, O.P., (c. 1200 – 19 March 1263) was a French Dominican friar who became a cardinal and noted biblical commentator.


Hugh was born at Saint-Cher, a suburb of Vienne, Dauphiné, around the beginning of the 13th century and, while a student at the University of Paris, he studied philosophy, theology, and jurisprudence, which latter subject he later taught at that same university.

In 1225, he entered the Dominican priory there and took the religious habit of the recently founded Order. Soon after his admission, he was appointed as Prior Provincial of the Order for France. He was made the prior of the Paris monastery in 1230. During those years, he contributed largely to the Order's success, and won the confidence of Pope Gregory IX, who sent him as a papal legate to Constantinople in 1233.


Pope Innocent IV made Hugh a Cardinal Priest in 1244, with his titular church being Santa Sabina, the mother church of the Dominican Order. He then played an important part in the First Council of Lyons, which took place the following year. He contributed to the institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi on the General Roman Calendar. In 1247, upon instructions of Pope Innocent, Hugh revised the Carmelite Rule of St. Albert, which the Saint Albert Avogadro, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, had given the first Carmelite friars on Mount Carmel. The Holy See felt it necessary to mitigate some of the Rule's more demanding elements to make it more compatible with conditions in Europe. The same pope approved these changes, and this revision remains the Rule for the Carmelite Order. After the death in 1250 of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, Pope Innocent sent Hugh to Germany as his legate for the election of a successor.

Under the authority of Pope Alexander IV, in 1255 Hugh supervised the condemnations of the Introductorius in Evangelium aeternum of Gherardino da Borgo San Donnino, which promoted the teachings of Abbot Joachim of Fiore. These teachings worried the bishops as they had become widespread among the "Spiritual" wing of the Franciscan friars, to which Gherardino belonged. He also supervised the condemnation of William of St Amour's De periculis novissimorum temporum. This work was an expression of the attack on the mendicant Orders, who were becoming so successful in the lives of the universities, by the secular clergy who had previously had unchallenged authority there. Hugh served as Major Penitentiary of the Catholic Church from 1256 to 1262. He was named Cardinal Bishop of Ostia in December 1261, but resigned a few months later and returned to his title of Santa Sabina.

Hugh was in residence in Orvieto, Italy, with Pope Urban IV, who had established a long-term residence there, when he died on 19 March 1263.


In universum Vetus et Novum Testamentum, 1732

Hugh of St-Cher (or, possibly, a team of scholars under his direction) was the first to compile a so-called "correctorium", a collection of variant readings of the Bible. His work, entitled "Correctio Biblie", survives in more than a dozen manuscripts.[1]

In the preface to the "Correctio Biblie", Hugh writes that he has collated various Latin versions, biblical commentaries and as well as the Hebrew manuscripts.[2] For his approach to the text of the Bible, he was criciticsed by William de la Mare, author of another correctorium.[3]

With the aid of many of his Order, he edited the first concordance of the Bible (Concordantiae Sacrorum Bibliorum or Concordantiae S. Jacobi), but the assertion that we owe the present division of the chapters of the Vulgate to him is false.

Besides a commentary on the Book of Sentences, he wrote the Postillae in sacram scripturam juxta quadruplicem sensum, litteralem, allegoricum, anagogicum et moralem, published frequently in the 15th and 16th centuries. His Sermones de tempore et sanctis are apparently only extracts. His exegetical works were published at Venice in 1754 in eight volumes.



  1. ^ For the chronological order of the correctoria, see Gilbert Dahan, ‘Sorbonne II. Un correctoire biblique de la seconde moitié du XIIIe siècle’, in La Bibbia del XIII secolo: Storia del testo, storia dell’esegesi. Convegno della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino (SISMEL). Firenze, 1-2 giugno 2001, ed. G. Cremascoli and F. Santi, Florence 2004, pp. 113-153, at pp. 113-114. For the influence of the Correctio Biblie on later correctoria, see Heinrich Denifle, ‘Die Handschriften der Bibel-Correctorien des 13. Jahrhunderts’, Archiv für Literatur- und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters 4 (1888), pp. 263-311 and 471-601, at p. 544. See ibid., p. 264, for a list of manuscripts; another three have been added by Thomas Kaeppeli and Emilio Panella, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevii, 4 vols, Rome 1970-1993, II, p. 273 (no. 1986)
  2. ^ The preface has been edited by Gilbert Dahan, ‘La critique textuelle dans les correctoires de la Bible du XIIIe siècle’, in Langages et philosophie: hommage à Jean Jolivet, ed. A. de Libera, A. Elamrani-Jamal, A. Galonnier, Paris 1997, pp. 365-392, at pp. 386-387.
  3. ^ See Denifle, ‘Die Handschriften’, p. 296, n. 5.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Rinaldo di Jenne
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Henry of Segusio

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