As we continue our novenas in preparation for the Solemnity of our Lady's Immaculate Conception (at Lourdes, by the way, Cardinal Pole's successor Rowan Williams translated 'Immaculata' as 'Spotless'; I wonder why did that, rather than using the more familiar rendering ...), I thought readers might enjoy some words of Edmund Lacy, Bishop of Exeter 1420-1458.
There is truly nothing, after God, more useful than making memorial of his most holy Mother, for if the name of God's Mother has been invoked, even if the merits of the one calling upon her do not deserve it, yet the merits of God's Mother intercede so that he might in mercy be heard; for she is the Palace of Universal Propitiation, the Cause of General Reconciliation, the Vessel of Grace and Temple of Life Eternal and of the salvation of all who are to be saved, she, the dear Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary; who, the only one to guard unimpaired the likeness of the Heavenly Craftsman, gave birth under the seal of holiness to the Splendour of the Father's Glory, the only begotten Son, indeed, of God, who knows not the Fault of Adam, that he might , by the meit of His own holiness and righteousness, restore to Paradise those whom our first Parent exiled by his fault of disobedience; for this woman, most blessed among and above all blessed women, through the blessing of her childbearing abolished for ever the curse of our first Mother Eve and trod with the foot of virtue the poisonous head of the ancient serpent ...
I break off here because the sentence goes on for ever. I doubt whether, even now, this great Exonian Pontiff has completed it. He even chose, as a venue for a dissertation on the Immaculate Conception, a General Chapter of the Order of Preachers in his See City ... I know I need not remind you that the Dominicans were still distinctly negative about the doctrine at this point.
Lacy was a considerable intellectual whom his people deemed also to be a Saint. His shrine was dismantled at the 'Reformation' (by the 'Protestant Dean', Simon Haynes, who so got up the noses of his Anglican Catholic fellow chapter-mambers that they were able - even in the reign of Edward VI - to contrive to get him imprisoned); but when the Cathedral was bombed during the war the wax votive offerings from it were found concealed behind a nearby stone. He had a definite cultus as a beatus.