From Diana to Saint Hubert – patrons saints of hunters at a glance


There is no doubt that the patron of hunters is Saint Hubert. Every year many enthusiast of hunting traditions meet up to organise a celebration called « Hubertowiny » or « Hubertus » with many care of every detail. The way of celebration of this day is a continuation of historical traditions where the participants take part in the ceremonies and customs accompanying ancients driven hunts.
However, Saint Hubert is not the only patron of the hunters. Our ancestors prayed for intercession also to some others figures in the history.

In Grec mythology the goddess of hunters and wild animals was Artemis but in the Roman one Diana was equated to her. Being a patron of the animals, forests, mountains, vegetation, fertility and hunt she is portrayed as a gril with hind, equiped with a bow, quiver and crescent moon on her head. What is more, in Poland all female hunters are called « Diana » as their patron.

Saint Eustace
The historical chronicles gives us poors informations about life of Saint Eustace but the legends tells a lot about his perseverance and his martyrdom. He was a general in the Roman army of emperor Trajan. He has converted to the Christianity influenced by the cricifix placed between stag’s antlers that he saw in his vision during a hunt. He was punished because of his convertion. However, his body was protected by divine providence. After long hurs of torture his body was taken of the crematory. As it wasn’t damaged and had no traces of burn he was canonized. He became a saint patron of firefighters, hunters, foresters, trappers and peoples being tortured.

Saint Bavo
He lived between VI and VII century and as a young man led an undisciplined and disordery life. Influenced by his daughter and a sermon of monk Amand he was converted on Christianity. He became a mok and he sactificed himself to God. During his funeral a miracle took place: a possesed woman had touched his body and she recovered immediately.
As he was a big enthusiast of hunting he became a saint patron of falconers. He is portrayed as a hermit in the hollowed trunk or on the rock. His atributes are: a sword, a falcon and a small balance.

Saint Hubert
He is the most popular patron of hunters. As a young man he used to spent a lot of time on hunting. During one of the hunts on Good Friday he saw a stag with a brightening crucifix on his antlers and he heard a voice that makes him change his life. Since then he itinerate and proselytise the unbelivers.

He is portrayed as a hunter during the hunt when he saw a legendary stag.

His feast day is 3rd of November – the day of devoting of his relics, and in Poland it’s also celebrated as a national Hunting Day.