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.

Friday 16 October 2020

St Teresa of Avila and her birettas

Yesterday was the feast day of St Teresa of Avila, a saint of whom I am especially fond. To mark the anniversary Lucas Viar has posted on the Liturgical Arts Journal a short article showing how from the early seventeenth century when she was canonised St Teresa was often depicted wearing an academic biretta of the Spanish type in her role as a Doctor of the Church. As he shows this designation was first requested in 1597, only fifteen years after her death, but was not formally accorded to her until 1970, when she became the first woman so designated.

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