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.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

New Oratorian clothed at York

Yesterday the Oxford Oratory gained a new member in their foundation at York.


Br Henry O'Connell received the habit of St Philip on Monday, 16th March at St Wilfrid's; our second novice for York and the first to be clothed in the habit there. Please remember Br Henry in your prayers. Br Henry is in the back row, first on the left and pictured with other Fathers and Brothers of the Oxford Oratory.

16th March is an excellent day for an Oratorian clothing, since it is the anniversary of the famous Massimo Miracle in Rome when St Philip raised the young Paolo Massimo from the dead. The Massimi family were great devotees of St Philip, and when fourteen-year old Paolo lay dying, our Holy Father was summoned, but was saying Mass and so arrived too late. Nevertheless, his prayers raised Paolo from the dead: the boy then asked to go to confession. The saint sent everyone from the room, heard his confession, and then talked to Paolo for about half an hour about the joys of Paradise. After St Philip twice asked Paolo whether he died willingly, the boy died for a second time, peacefully and joyfully.

The event is still celebrated annually in Rome at the Palazzo Massimi where the house is open to the public for one day only and Mass is celebrated in the family chapel.


Images and text: Oxford Oratory


Fr Ray Blake said...

Good news, excellent!

Anonymous said...

Prayers for Br Henry, and all the good men of the English oratories!