Shrine of St. Frideswide, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford.

Friday, September 28, 2012

St. Thomas Cantilupe of Hereford, 2 October.

St. Thomas had early involvement in both ecclesiastical and political matters. He came from a noble family powerful in the Welsh Marches and was able to receive education by the bishop of Worcester and later at Oxford and Paris. In France, Thomas rose to prominence after ordination, a bestowal of several paying benefices and a presence at the Council of Lyons. He returned to Oxford after studying canon law and became a patron of poor students and at this time, his contact with the diocese of Hereford grew as he was presented with parishes there; he was elected bishop by the cathedral canons in 1275. It was the responsibility of his new office which seemed to produce a conversion, as Thomas Becket experienced when consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas took to wearing a hair shirt and became increasingly zealous in traveling from parish to parish in his diocese to perform the sacrament of confirmation. He even forbade pluralism, which he had committed during his time at Paris and Oxford, and exhorted donations from the wealthy. He met trouble in trying to regain certain diocesan rites and became involved in a conflict with Archbishop Pecham. He was excommunicated and died in 1282 in Italy, where from his relics were returned to Hereford and enshrined. His cult quickly spread and he was canonized in 1320. His cult has been widely revived at Hereford today where his shrine has been restored for daily prayer and organized pilgrimages. His importance to us, is both as a bishop and as a servant. As a bishop, he is an example of the ultimate dedication to his diocese and full devotion to his faith; both qualities that all bishops must strive for. His connection to all members of the Church, clergy and laity alike, lies in his rejection of worldliness for asceticism and the full assumption of local Christian responsibility; truly Christ-like qualities.

Almighty God, as thy servant Thomas Cantilupe so faithfully humbled himself to the duties of Christian love; help us to dedicate all aspects of our lives to the duties laid out for us by your son, Jesus Christ, and to convert all our actions to his glory Through Him, with You and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, who live and reign forever, Amen. 
The restored shrine of St. Thomas Cantilupe in Hereford Cathedral.


  1. Very interesting post! That restored shrine looks wonderful.

    1. Thanks, I have not actually been here but I know that the Cathedral also houses a restored shrine for St. Ethelbert, who is included in the Cathedral's dedication. St. David's Cathedral in Wales also recently restored the shrine of St. David.

  2. Ecclesiastes 12:1 -3; Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Timothy 4:12; Psalm 127:1; Proverbs 19:21; Romans 8:28; Psalm 119:9; Isaiah 40:29-31; Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:19-21; 1 Peter 4:3; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 71:5; Exodus 20:12; 1 Samuel 15:23a; Ephesians 6:1-3; Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 23:22; Proverbs 1:8-9; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; James 2:14-17; Joshua 1: 7-9; 2 Timothy 2:22-25; Proverbs 1:10; Romans 13:13; Matthew 26:41; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Proverbs 8:32-33; Jeremiah 1:4-9; 1 Samuel 2:18; 2 Kings 22:1-2; Song Of Solomon 8:4; Proverbs 20:11; Proverbs 28:24; Mark 12:29-31; Micah 6:8; Matthew 16:18; John 19:11; 2Thessalonians 3:3; 1John 5:19; 1Peter 2:9; Revelations 12:9; 2Samuel 22:3-4; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 12:32; Hebrews 13:5; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 91:1-3; Psalm 121:7-8; 2Timothy 4:18; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11; Daniel 12:1; 1John 5:18; Psalm 138:7

    St. Thomas, pray for us, intercede for my son, Erich, nieces, nephews, godchild and their paternal/maternal family tree (his grandparents, greatgrandparents).