Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Papal visit - Day III

Saturday morning and off to watch the Papal Mass from Westminster Cathedral on the big screen at the Oxford Oratory.

This I sensed was seen as the liturgical showpiece of the visit, and so it proved to be. Inter alia it helps make the case for restoring the Feast of the Precious Blood as a regular observance.

(Photographs from Papal visit)

What was very striking was the evident rapport of the Pope with young people in the meeting on the cathedral piazza.

(Photograph from Papal visit)

Unfortunately I had to miss the television coverage of the afternoon and evening events in order to get ready for the early start for the beatification in Birmingham. However I was rather taken with this picture of the Pope and Archbishop Smith of Southwark at St Peter's Vauxhall:

(Photograph from Papal visit)

I managed to get some sleep in the evening and woke up at 11pm to a text message from an Anglican friend "I went to see the Pope in The Mall - a very special moment."

(Photograph from Papal visit)

Other have commented subsequently about the effect of British and Vatican flags side by side - a vision of what might have been had history been different, but also a great sign of what has been achieved in recent decades.

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