St Richard of Chichester
(ca. 1197 – 1252)
St Richard was born into a ‘gentry’ family at Burford, England, but sadly, orphaned at a young age. He received a good education and worked for his older brother on the family farm estate. St Richard chose a life of study and the Church, rather than marriage and family wealth. He studied at Oxford and taught at the University as well as in Paris and Bologna. On his return to England, he was elected Chancellor of Oxford University. Five years later, St Richard started studying for the Priesthood with the Dominicans and a few years after his ordination, he was elected Bishop of Chichester.
St Richard eagerly reformed the moral practices of Church clergy and introduced much greater reverence to Church services. His many rules included;
- depriving married clergy of their partners and their partners denied Church privileges,
- a vow of chastity for newly ordained clergy,
- Rectors to reside in their parishes,
- Vicars allowed only one parish,
- Deacons banned from performing baptisms and reconciliation,
- clergy to wear the proper dress,
- equally applied minimal fees for all services and
- strict rules governing service robes, chalices and other church items.
St Richard’s Feast Day is 3rd April. He is the Patron Saint of Sussex, England.
Pray for us that we will be faithful in our actions to the teachings of the Gospel.
Glory be to the…