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.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fátima, celebrating the first apparition of Our Lady there to the three shepherd children on this day in 1917. These continued on the 13th of each month until the 'Miracle of the Sun' on October 13th that year.

There is an online account of the apparitions and history of the shrine here.

The story of Fatima is one that is truly extraordinary, and one which confronts so many prevailing preconceptions in our society. In itself it is call to faith, and one that is challenging and demanding. What the children of Fatima saw and relayed was no easy religious option, no easy comfort, but an awareness of spiritual and indeed physical combat with dark and dreadful forces.

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