Hugo von Cluny

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hugo von Cluny , the Great (born May 13, 1024 in Semur-en-Brionnais , Burgundy , † April 28, 1109 ) is a saint . The Cluniac monk became one of the great abbots of the Middle Ages. As the sixth abbot of Cluny , he continued the Cluniac reform and the monastic association at the height of its radiance. He commissioned the construction of what was then the largest church in Christendom, the new Basilica of Cluny (Cluny III Abbey Church) . He was the papal legate and advisor. In the investiture controversy , he was a peacemaker between Gregory VII and Henry IV , whose godfather he was.


Hugo, also known as Hugues de Semur after his origins from the Burgundian house of Semur , was the son of Count Dalmatius von Semur and the Aremburgis von Bergy (Aremburge de Vergy). He had eight siblings. His great uncle Hugo von Auxerre was responsible for his upbringing .

Hugo von Cluny, Mathilde von Tuszien and Heinrich IV. Miniature from the manuscript Vita Mathildis (around 1115)

Hugo broke off his training as a knight against his father's resistance to become a novice in the Benedictine monastery of Cluny under Abbot Odilo von Cluny at the age of 15 . In 1044, at the age of 20 , he was ordained a priest , became prior and shortly afterwards became the abbot's deputy as grand prior. At the age of 25, in 1049, Hugo became the 6th abbot in Cluny, as the successor to Odilo, who had developed and spread the reform ideas. He initiated the establishment of La Charité-sur-Loire . During his sixty-year term of office, which began in 1049 and spanned almost the entire era of church reform and the investiture controversy until 1109, he experienced nine popes, was confidante of Pope Gregory VII and the German emperors, for whom he also worked diplomatically . In particular during the investiture controversy in Canossa in 1077, he emerged as a mediator and peacemaker between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV .

He remained a supporter of the Cluniac reform movement, which expanded during his tenure and was particularly momentous for church architecture. Cluny owes its international character and power to the more than 200 filiations that had neither the right to vote nor the right to self-determination, but were subordinate to the Grand Abbot. They were spread across Italy, Lorraine, England, and France, and many of them were established during Hugo's tenure.

Cluny, reconstruction from the end of the 19th century

Hugo died on April 28, 1109 and was buried in the abbey church he built (Cluny III) .


Hugo was canonized in 1121. He is the patron saint of fever sufferers.


Web links

predecessor Office successor
Odilo Abbot of Cluny
Pontius of Melgueil