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.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Today is Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, and of the Purification of Our Lady.

It is a feast of which I am particularly fond, originally for its symbolism and ceremonial, and then because it is both the feast of my college, Oriel - The House of Blessed Virgin Mary in Oxford commonly called Oriel College to give it the proper nomenclature - and also the anniversary of the establishment of the English Oratory in 1848 by that former Fellow of Oriel, Bl.John Henry Newman.


Image: Hagia Sophis on Flickr

I found this image on the internet, but so far have not discovered the artist or location of this tryptich which links to the Epiphany and the Coronation of Our Lady with its side panels. I assume it is early to mid-fifteenth century German or Netherlandish. I think it may well be by Stefan Lochner or apupil of his as it shows great similarities to the painting by him I posted last year in my post Candlemas. In any case it has delightful details and great charm.

Last year I posted the reading from the Divine Office for today from St Sophronius (560-638) which eloquently explores the symbolism of the feast, and indicates the use of candles and the procession at that time. It can be read at St Sophronius on Candlemas.

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