5 October 2023

Omnes Sancti Cancellarii, orate pro nobis.

 October 5, on current local calendars, is the Feast of S Thomas de Cantiloupe (Ob 1218, later Bishop of Hereford) sometime Chancellor of this University (previously, until S Therese appeared upon the scene, it was two days earlier). Other sainted Chancellors have been S Richard (Ob 1197, later Bishop of Chichester); and S Edmund Rich, (Ob 1240; later Archbishop of Canterbury) Patron of the geographical diocese in which I reside. During my current health crisis, I seek their ... and your ... prayers.

Perhaps there will be those of the Anglican Patrimony who would like me to add blessed William Laud to this list.

I often think of them, as I visit the broad and generous highway along which they must so often have made their way. Was there, I wonder, a 'Chancellor's Barge' to convey them? Did they pause for hospitality in the great monastic house at Dorchester (built, surely, on the site of a late Roman martyrium just outside the walls of the Roman municipium)? Were they delayed at Abendon by the mighty abbey of which not a stone rests now upon a stone?

This busy thoroughfare ... should we call it the R1? ... saw busy times during the years amusingly called 'the Reformation'. When Magdalen College purchased that panelling from the suppressed Abbey at Reading, the Tudor equivalents of our modern juggernauts will have transported it. That undamaged statue of the Assumpta discovered at Sandford ... was it craftily conveyed South from Oxford or North from Abendon? -- I have, by the way, a theory about the strange receptacle between our Lady's feet: as Erasmus described at Walsingham, did it originally hold a toadstone

Fr Bertram recounted a story about a quarter of one of our Catholic Martyrs being discovered entangled in the mill-wheel at Sandford.

As you collect your latest degree ... or enjoy Mr Orator's set pieces in the Sheldonian Theatre at Encaenia ... spare a glance above your head. As in any properly appointed ancient theatre, you will see the ropes of the velarium which support the canvases which protect your head from Oxford's insupportably Mediterranean sun ... 

 ... except, of course, that the appearance is trompe l'oeil. So are the allegorical figures of Religion, the Arts, and Science triumphing over some pretty unStuart vices. Robert Streeter painted it in ... I think ... London, and it was transported up the Thames.

I wonder where they unloaded it, in those days before one of Ruskin's admirers had built Meadow Building. Did the old Priory have a Watergate, and a quay, on the precise spot where later Anthony Blanche deployed his microphone and Aloysius ate the plovers' eggs?

About fifteen years ago, when the flooding Thames came right up to the Meadow Building Entrance, the reflections in the water did ... if you didn't look too carefully ... resemble La Serenissima ...


Banshee said...

Praying... I am glad that you are staying cheerful, as that helps the body fight and heal.

The other day, I spent a pleasant evening chasing down a Chrysostom quote, which is a thing I never would have done if I hadn't started reading you.

(It turned out that people have been quoting him as saying that "feeding the hungry is a greater miracle than raising the dead," whereas he said that alms was the greater gift or grace, charis.)

(He did use feeding hungry Christ as an example right after that. But his point was that the power to raise the dead is all done by Christ, whereas any kind of alms or help is counted as being done as a gift to Christ. So I thought that was an interesting thought.)

All that said, I pray that you will get healed speedily, whether by mundane or miraculous means.

And don't neglect just telling your body what to do, visualizing it, etc., because we do have body capabilities that we don't consciously know how to access. If we can sing with involuntary muscles, we can probably tell pancreases their business. It is probably some Adamic but neglected built-in feature.

william arthurs said...

"a megaphone ... had appeared surprisingly among the bric-a-brac of Sebastian's room"