Hugh of Saint-Cher
HUGH OF SAINT-CHER
Theologian and Biblical scholar; b. Saint-Cher, Dauphiné, France, c. 1200; d. Orvieto, Italy, March 19, 1263. He studied at the University of Paris and was already a doctor in law and a bachelor in theology when he entered the Dominican Order in 1225 at St. Jacques, Paris. Within a year he was elected provincial of France, but he continued his studies under roland of cremona, first Dominican master of sacred theology at the University of Paris. Relieved of provincial's duties in 1230, he taught theology and Sacred Scripture at the university. Again as provincial (1236–1244) he played an important part in Dominican affairs, particularly in the election of (St.) raymond of peÑafort as master general, and served as the order's vicar-general in 1240 and 1241.
On May 28, 1244, he became the first Dominican cardinal, his titular church being S. Sabina. He participated in the 12th ecumenical council, held at Lyons, France (1245). By papal commission he reformed the Carmelite rule and liturgy (1247), a reform used again by (St.) John of the Cross and (St.) Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. While cardinal legate to Germany (1251–53), he sanctioned the institution at Liège of the feast of corpus christi, a feast extended through his urging to the universal Church by Urban IV in 1264.
Under Alexander IV he became embroiled in the acrid controversy at the University of Paris between the religious orders and the secular professors, and he was a member of the commission that condemned William of St. Amour's "Tract concerning the dangers of these latter days," a bitter tirade against the religious. Although he received power from Alexander IV in 1255 to revise the legislation of the Dominican Order, why he did not do so is not clear. Some suspect that humbert of romans, then master general, was opposed to the revision. After his death Hugh was accorded the same Dominican suffrages that were extended to deceased master generals.
Although his interest also embraced theology, Hugh is particularly remembered for three Biblical works: a Latin Concordance of the Bible (1240), which served as a model, despite its crudities, for more elaborate subsequent attempts; the Postillae (exegetical notes on the whole Bible according to the literal and spiritual senses), which was reprinted many times up to the 17th century; and a Correctory of the Latin Vulgate, now extant only in MSS (a noble effort, but hardly adequate because of the primitive state of textual criticism).
Bibliography: j. quÉtif and j. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum (New York 1959) 1:194–209, c. jerman, "Hugh of St. Cher," Dominicana 44 (1959) 338–347. e. filthaut, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 5:517–518.