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, 22 July 2015

St Philip Neri 500

Yesterday was the 500th anniversary of the birth in Florence of St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratorians.

To mark the occasion all the Masses at the Oxford Oratory were votives of St Philip, followed by veneration of a relic of him. At the 6pm Mass which I attended there was also Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament before the veneration of the reliquary.

Given St Philip's profound assimilation to the will of God, above all in the physical enlargement of his heart following the inflowing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost 1544, this seemed to be, as both the homily from Fr Joseph  and the prayers at Benediction from Fr Jerome indicated, a very appropriate way for us to draw closer to God and to the force which transformed and motivated St Philip.

File:Giuseppe Passeri - Vision of St Philip Neri - WGA17070.jpg

 The Vision of St Philip Neri

Giuseppe Passeri

Image: Wikimedia

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