AKA: Hunting, Sportsmen, Sportswomen
Hunters love pursuing and killing wild animals for food, sport, or other purposes. Hunting has been a part of human history and culture for thousands of years, and it continues to be practiced in many parts of the world today. In fact, it’s a tradition that many families pass down from generation to generation.
Not only can it feed families and communities, it also plays a role in wildlife conservation and provides an opportunity to spend time in nature, challenge yourself and develop skills in tracking and marksmanship.
Hunting is, of course, a potentially dangerous activity. A patron saint for hunters can provide a sense of comfort and protection. It can also serve as a reminder to respect and care for the natural world and to approach hunting with a spirit of reverence, responsibility and sportsmanlike conduct.
Who is the Patron Saint of Hunters
The most well-known patron saint of hunters is of course St. Hubert of Liege. But some may not know about St. Eustachius, another hunting saint with a very similar conversion story.
St. Hubert of Liege was a nobleman and avid hunter born in Toulouse into the deer hunting marvels of court circles in the middle of the 7th century. He was known as a playboy and had a bad habit of skipping out on Mass to go hunting occasionally. On Good Friday, while riding on horseback, his hounds cornered a massive buck. He was about to release his arrow when all of a sudden he saw a bright, glowing crucifix between the deer’s antlers and heard a voice saying, “Unless you turn to the Lord, Hubert, you shall fall into Hell. Repent or be doomed!” He immediately dismounted, prostrated himself and repented.
He then studied under Bishop Lambert and became a priest, donated his belongings to charity and asked his brother to take care of his son. After taking over as Bishop, he built a cathedral in Liege, Belgium where he applied his passion for hunting to his faith, establishing Christianity in throughout the Ardennes Forest known for its dangerous pagans.
Today, he is celebrated with festivals and hunter’s blessings drawing in huge crowds, especially back in Belgium and France.
St. Eustachius was a 2nd century Roman general named Placidas under the Roman Emperor Trajan. Like St. Hubert, he was an avid hunter and also saw the same image of a deer with a crucifix, but this time he heard a voice prophesying that he was to suffer for Christ. This vision converted him and he was baptized shortly after.
The prophesy came true as he was persecuted for his beliefs and suffered many trials, including losing his wealth, his family, and his station. However, he remained faithful to his Christian beliefs and was ultimately martyred for refusing to renounce his faith.
Click here for our list of Patron Saints.
Prayers for Hunters
Prayer to Hunt Like St. Hubert
Lord, you spoke to St. Hubert and converted him to You during a stag hunt. You changed him into a hunter of souls, yet you continued to use his skills as a hunter to open minds to your Gospel. I ask that you make me into a hunter of souls above all other hunting activities. May I look for the opportunities to speak of You and Your salvation. Let the hunting camp itself be a place that uplifts the soul. May my time alone be an opportunity to pray and listen to You. May all the actions of the rest of my life be a constant hunt for You, for the opportunities you give me to evangelize, and to target the souls most in need of Your love. Amen.
St. Hubert Hunters Prayer
Holy St. Hubert, you were passionate about hunting, but upon hearing the voice of the Lord, you laid down your bow and took up the call to the priesthood. By the miracles and conversions brought about through your intercession and example, you led others to adore and love God.
With great devotion and confidence in your powerful assistance, I beg the grace to grow in holiness and embrace the gift of serious Christian discipleship. I ask this in the Most Holy name of Jesus Christ, our King and our God. Amen.
Prayer to Be an Honorable Hunter
By the grace of God may I always honor, thank and adore the Lord God who created the animals and saw that each species was good. Let me love the God who made humans in His own image and likeness and set them over the whole world, to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. By my honorable conduct as a hunter let me give a good example and teach new hunters principles of honor, so that each new generation can show respect for God, other hunters and the animals, and enjoy the dignity of the hunt. Amen.
Related Patron Saint Jewelry and Rosaries
Buy some beautiful St. Hubert of Liege and St. Eustachius jewelry to keep you or your loved one close to the patron saint of hunters and be a symbol of your faith.