Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Chartres Surplice - 2 English Saints, 1 Blessed and 1 kind Bishop

And so here are the coats of arms of St John Fisher, and St Thomas More. Behind St Thomas More's are maces of office. These are two great figures in English Catholicism. Both of them stood up to the bed-hopping, wife killer Henry VIII.

Next (above) is Blessed John Henry Newman. Very fond of him I am indeed. Even more so, as he was at my college in Oxford (or should that be that I was at his college?!). I like the idea that I, as a callow youth, walked the same quads as this great man, this great Blessed, this great sign of true ecumenism.

It was through his rigorous intellectual searching that he was led to the Catholic Church, but it was the inspiration and example of Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God Barbari, who was the instrument of God's conversion of Bl. John Henry Newman. Simple piety and fiendish brain in perfect harmony!

The final coat of arms today is that of Bishop Mervyn Alexander, who was Bishop of Clifton. I know that his arms are not right as there should be more tassels, so don't bother hunting me down like the dog I am. Bishop Mervyn was a holy man with a true humility. He let me into the Diocese and sent me to seminary, and I was privileged enough to anoint him when he was ill in hospital, and carried his coffin when he died. Say a prayer for the repose of the soul of the good and kind successor of the Apostles.

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