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, 16 April 2012

Happy birthday Holy Father

Today is the 85th birthday of the Pope and an opportunity therefore to publish ones's warm good wishes to him on this anniversary, and to wish him very many happy returns of the day.


Image: ncregister.com

I see some in the media are using this occasion, and the impending anniversary of his election, to indulge in the fairly predictable speculation about his possible reirement - but that seems to be par for the course with any monarch who reaches a significant birthday. As with The Queen, what should strike observers is that blend of personal dedication and continued hard work at the tasks of their respective callings.

The Pope's birthday is also an opportunity to re-state appreciation for all that Joseph Ratzinger has achieved and contributed in a lifetime of faithful Catholic life. His work as a theologian and as a communicator of the Gospel, his profound and far-reaching insights into the life of the liturgy and of the Church as a whole, his quiet dignity as a Christian are all to be admired and celebrated by the wider community of the Catholic Church and beyond.


The Pope celebrates Mass - the heart of his calling


Ad multos annos !

1 comment:

Antonia said...

Ad multos annos indeed! Thanks for the wonderful tribute and images... Even more than speculation about his retirement, what annoys me is the emphasis in the press on his supposed "health concerns". I agree, this is a time to celebrate and appreciate a loving pastor and brilliant theologian filled and fuelled by the Holy Spirit, to pray for him and thank God for him.