Bl.Agnellus of Pisa
Image: Franciscan Province of Great Britain website/Supremacy and Survival blogspot
Today is the feast in the Birmingham archdiocese of Bl. Angnellus of Pisa, who led the Franciscan mission to England in 1224 and who was buried - and venerated - in the medieval Oxford Greyfriars.
In 1224 Francis decided to send some friars to England and appointed Agnellus of Pisa to lead a small expedition. On Tuesday, 10 September of the same year, a small boat landed near Dover and nine roughly-dressed figures disembarked, and so the Franciscan Order was implanted in England. The nine friars were led by an Italian, Agnellus of Pisa, who had previously been Custos in Paris. It included three Englishmen who had joined the Order, probably in Paris where many Englishmen of the time went to study, five Italians and one Frenchman. Within seven weeks of arrival they had established friaries in Canterbury, London and Oxford, the ecclesiastical, political and intellectual capitals of England.
From the Franciscan Province website
My previous posts about him and the medieval Greyfriars of Oxford can be read at Bl. Agnellus of Pisa, from 2010, Bl Agnellus of Pisa from 2011, Medieval Franciscans in Oxford
and Commemorating Bl. Agnellus of Pisa from 2012, and, from earlier this year, Out and about Oxford with Friars
Fr Cuthbert, the founder of the Capuchin house in Oxford, produced a translation of Thomas of Eccleston's De adventu F.F.minorum in Angliam in 1903 which can be read online at
The friars and how they came to England
Now we have both the Capuchins and the Conventuals in Oxford, reviving and continuing a venerable spiritual and academic tradition.