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.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Imperial piety

After Mass this morning at the Oratory there was the usual catching up on news with friends in the Social Centre and there I had the opportunity to meet James and Joanna (Auntie Joanna writes ) Bogle who were visiting Oxford. I took the opportunity to tell them how I had appreciated reading their book A Heart for Europe, which is a life of the Bl.Emperor Charles I of Austria and of his wife the Empress Zita.


The future Empress and Empress on their wedding day October 21 1911

Their book is an excellent introduction to the life of the Emperor, and in particular to both his personal piety and charm, and to his search for peace in the months after his accession to the Habsburg throne in 1916.

We agreed that the story of the Emperor and Empress would make an excellent subject for a film, and even speculated about possible actors.

The websites for the Imperial couple's causes can be found at Emperor Charles League of Prayer and at Empress Zita cause.

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