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, 4 September 2014

The Translation of St Cuthbert

Today is the feast day appointed for St Cuthbert (c.634-687) in the Ordinary Form. His traditional day, his principal feast indeed, is his dies natalis on March 20th, but that was moved in the revision of the calendar because of the reforming urge to clear Lent of other commemorations. As a result Sepember 4th, his second feast day, that of his Translation, has become his OF commemoration.

St Cuthbert
Twelfth century wall painting in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral


There is an online account of St Cuthbert, including both his life and of the survival of his relics and items deposited in his coffin, here.

I am not quite clear if the Translation being commemorated today is that of his relics from Chester-le-Street to Durham in 995 or of his relics into the present cathedral there in 1104, that is 910 years ago. It is, of course, perfectly possible that both events were celebrated on the same date.

The opening of the coffin containing the incorrupt body of St Cuthbert
From a copy of Bede's Life of Cuthbert circa 1180
BL MS 39943

Image: Wikipedia

St Cuthbert pray for us

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