Skip to comments.Greyfriars Are Coming Home After a 500-Year-Long Exile [Oxford, UK]
Posted on 05/17/2014 7:16:36 PM PDT by marshmallow
THEY fled the city almost 500 years ago during the English Reformation.
But this summer, after centuries away, the Greyfriars will finally return to Oxford.
The Conventual Catholic friars are to settle in All Saints Convent, Cowley, in the next two months, once it is vacated by the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, who are moving to a smaller building.
Greyfriar formator Friar Daniel Geary, 53, said: It is going to be quite a wonderful and historic moment.
There will be 12 of us in the house of formation, with many being involved in training and going to classes.
But part of that process is also to become involved with the area. Cowley is a very rich and diverse place and we look forward to joining the community.
Know as the Greyfriars for their grey robes, two members of the Franciscan Conventuals first arrived in Oxford in 1224, having been sent to England by St Francis of Assisi, a medieval saint famed for creating the Nativity scene.
The monks lived in Greyfriars Hall, in Iffley Road, and provided aid to citys growing population, helping the poor and founding academic institutions.
But in 1538 their convent, along with others around the country, fell foul of King Henry VIII during the English Reformation.
That saw the King reject the authority of the Pope and make himself head of the Church, so he could grant himself a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
What followed was a purge of catholic monks loyal to the Vatican and the order was forced to flee the country.
(Excerpt) Read more at oxfordtimes.co.uk ...
While they were gone, the minarets moved in.
St Francis of Assisi, a medieval saint famed for creating the Nativity scene.
Exactly which Oxford scholar wrote this brilliant little ditty?
**What followed was a purge of catholic monks loyal to the Vatican and the order was forced to flee the country.**
So many Catholics died.
They didn’t just fall over and die. They were murdered.
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I was thinking of Gibbon saying there would be minarets over Oxford but for Charles Martel's victory at Poitiers.
Shakespeare exonerated. Whew! That was close.
You put it correctly.
I guess I ought to get a passport and airline ticket. This is the first I heard about my ‘going home.’
I think he’s also the patron saint of petting zoos.
Makes me think of the wonderful old Disney film “ Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog”
Scotland 1865. An old shepherd and his little Skye terrier go to Edinburgh. But when the shepherd dies of pneumonia, the dog remains faithful to his master, refuses to be adopted by anyone, and takes to sleeping on his master’s grave in the Greyfriars kirkyard, despite a caretaker with a “no dogs” rule. And when Bobby is taken up for being unlicensed, it’s up to the children of Edinburgh and the Lord Provost to decide what’s to be done.
If you enjoy movies about dogs this is a must see.
I wonder why they wore gray habits instead of brown, as was typical for Franciscans in continental Europe and eventually America. Different costs of fabric?
St. Francis of Assisi dressed in a robe of rough or course gray wool. This is reputed to be that robe: https://pilgrimpace.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/2749263-robe_of_st_francis_assisi.jpg
Generally the Franciscan friars of the Order of Friars Minor (called the regular observance, abbreviated O.F.M.), the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (called “Capuchins,” abbreviated O.F.M. Cap.), and the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (O.F.M. Conv.) wear brown today.
The “Greyfriars” name has fallen away - except in connection with England - because none of these three groups of Franciscans usually wear grey anymore. Generally the regular observance friars and the Capuchins wear brown and the Conventuals wear black (though occasionally the Conventuals wear gray).
Several of the new Franciscan groups, generally founded with a stricter observance of the older Franciscan rule wear gray (the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Franciscans of the Immaculate).
Thanks for your ping # 10. Interesting.
Thank you, very informative! The depictions of St. Francis in brown must simply reflect the American experience of Franciscans.
Well they were martyred.
I have one book written by the founder of the Francisians of the Renewel, Father Benedict Grouchel, and it is called “The Cross at Ground Zero”.
I saw the picture and it looked like St. Francis was a small guy.
Last Sunday, I had watched and it was the first time in many months, because of my RCIA ministry which would have meetings on Sunday night, ETWN’s “Sunday Night Prime”and the two young Francisisians of the Renewel do wear gray habits. They interviewed a priest who is going to be be down the road a priest for the NYC Archdiocese and he is a retired NYC fire fighter. He did talked about his memories of 9/11.
Yes, I remember seeing Father Groeschel in his gray habit. I was just thinking of Mexico and the Southwest instead.
Same here. We are used to seeing the brown habits.
This website offered an interesting detail:
“Originally made of rough, unbleached, homespun wool, today it can be made of other types of material as well.”
If the wool was unbleached, it would probably look gray, right?
This website has some early portrayals of Franciscans - sometimes the robes look gray, sometimes brown: http://www.exurbe.com/?p=719
“The Friars of the Community, the Conventual Franciscans, from the standpoint of legislation by virtue of their Constitutions and Apostolic Statues, were still wearing a grey habit until 1932. The Conventual Franciscans were the Grey Friars.” http://www.conventualfranciscanfriars.org/GrayHabit.html
Yeah, kind of a dirty white. Even if the sheep were a "white" breed to start with, the wool isn't going to come clean without lots of hot water and good soap, neither of which were commonly available to the poor.
Whether it came out gray or brownish would depend on the soil of the area. In Oklahoma, which means "red earth," there are clothing companies that sell soil-dyed clothing, deep reddish-brown.