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.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

St Luigi Scrosoppi

Today is the feast of the other Oratorian saint besides St Philip, St Luigi Scrosoppi (1804-1884), a member of the Udine Oratory. He is the patron saint of those suffering from AIDS and also of football.

There are illustrated biographies of him from the Oxford Oratory here and from the Birmingham Oratory here.

He was noted for his work with orphans, the founder of a religious order for women, the Sisters of Providence, and, with the suppression of his Oratory in 1866, one of those persecuted by the anti-clerical forces that ruled the newly unified Italy.

St Luigi Scrosoppi in mid-life



The best known image of St Luigi Scrosoppi

Pope John Paul II canonised St Luigi Scrosoppi on 10th June 2001, and named him patron saint of those suffering with AIDS.

It was at the intercession of St Luigi that a Zambian man, now Fr Peter Changu Shitima, was miraculously cured of AIDS in 1996. He was at that time a member of the Oratory at Oudtshoorn, near Cape Town in South Africa, and it was to a member of St Philip’s family that his friends turned for help. Here is Fr Peter:


Images from Holy Name Manchester website

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