21 October 2022

Liturgical Vicars Apostolic: Bonventure Giffard

Fr Richard Whinder has very kindly provided the extremely interesting information that Bishop Richard Challoner, of whose liturgical interests I wrote recently, was not the first of our Vicars Apostolic to have a hand in the provision of a National Proper for this Kingdom of England. His predecessor, the great Bonaventure Joseph Giffard, Bishop of Madaura, sometime President of Magdalen College in this University, bombarded Rome with requests for a National Proper; his particular devotion was to S Augustine. He found that Rome lacked proper urgency in this matter. Angrily, he wrote:
"I shall trouble them no more on this account, but doe by my own authority, what they neglect. If this displeases the fault is theirs. If I have not their approbation by the end of October, I will order the keeping of this Feast, and signify the same in our Directory".

Clearly, a reply was not forthcoming; because in his 1733 ORDO S Augustine duly appears, as a Greater Double, with the defiant note "De Mandato Reverendissimi Madaurensis". (Incidentally, presumably in honour of his Patron Saint, he ordered S Joseph to be added to the Litanies after S John Baptist.) The Proper orationes and the Second Nocturn Readings are the same that, in the nineteenth century, we find given for S Augustine in the Propers for England.

(Fr Whinder found the Ordo in the Westminster archives; other information came from Dom Basil Hemphill's 'The Early Vicars Apostolic of England'.)

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