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, 19 May 2022

St Yves and a chasuble at Louannec

Today is the feast of St Yves, or Ivo, 1258-1303, the patron saint of lawyers and said to be the only parish priest to be formally canonised in the medieval period.

Wikipedia has a life of St Yves which sets out his austere life, apparently shaped by Franciscan spirituality and his work as a canon lawyer, noted for helping the poor and in reconciling adversaries at Ivo of Kermartin

Louannec, his parish, is on the north coast of Brittany, and close to his birthplace.

The Liturgical Arts Journal recently had a post about a medieval chasuble of fine quality, presumably worn by St Yves when he was as parish priest at Louannec and still preserved there. The vestment was not new in the time of St Yves, being made in the twelfth century from gold and purple fabric produced in Sicily. Being of that date it is comical in shape and similar in that respect to the better known one associated with St Thomas of Canterbury at Sens.

Its survival is doubtless due to its association with St Yves but the fact that a parish church on the Breton coast could possess a vestment of that quality does indicate, once again, that high status textiles could be found far from their place of manufacture, and that a remote coastal parish in Brittany could acquire or be given such a luxury item.

The article about the chasuble, which has some good photographs, can be seen at The Twelfth Century Chasuble of Saint-Yves

St Yves Pray for us

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