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, 1 September 2021

St Giles

Today is the feast day of St Giles. Here in Oxford that means the countdown to St Giles Fair, which is held on the Monday and Tuesday following the Sunday after St Giles Day, has begun.

My own link with St Giles is lifelong as I was baptised in the church dedicated to him in my home town of Pontefract and it was there that for several years I served as Parish Clerk. In those years I was able to supports efforts by the then Vicar to encourage awareness of St Giles as our patron and I gave some images of him - framed copies of two panels by the ‘Master of St Giles’ of about 1500 from a regrettably now-dismantled and dispersed reredos and also of a fourteenth century stained glass figure of the saint in the choir clerestory at Wells.

File:Master Of Saint Gilles - The Mass of St Gilles - WGA14485.jpg

The Mass of St Giles

Image: Wikimedia

The painting by the Master of St Giles of the Mass of St Giles, now in the National Gallery, is described and discussed on the Web Gallery of Art at The Mass of St Gilles by MASTER of Saint Gilles

Looking on the Internet today I came across a piece about him on the V&A blog which reproduces several medieval images and, despite an occasionally clunky style, gives an outline of the story of the saint. It can be seen at St. Giles • V&A Blog

There is a quite lengthy account of his life, legend and veneration from Wikipedia at Saint Giles

St Giles Pray for us

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