Thursday, February 16, 2006

St. Gilbert of Sempringham

Thanks to MyCatholic.com I realised today is the feast of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, one of the most endearing of English medieval saints and founder of the only specifically English religious order. A humane and humble man, he founded monasteries for men, women and both, hostels for the poor, the sick and the widowed, and provided education for both boys and girls (far ahead of his time!). He was canonised less than twenty years after his death at the age of one hundred and five. You can read more about him on this site from the Friends of Chicksands Priory. This is rather more reliable than the seriously muddled MyCatholic version which claims St. Gilbert was imprisoned by Henry VIII. Given that Gilbert died in 1189, over three hundred years before Henry VIII became king, I think not!

Note to self: Pay a visit to Chicksands Priory! I can claim a slightly proprietary interest in Chicksands - it was founded in the twelfth century by Payne de Beauchamp, baron of Bedford and his wife Rose, and I wrote an entry for the New Dictionary of National Biography on the Beachamps of Bedford. I hadn't realised that the ruins (grrr!!! that monastic terrorist Henry VIII again!) are now open to the public, and it is only around twenty miles away from us.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Thanks for catching the error in the saint bio. While writing it, I misread the source which referred to Henry VIII on the line directly above the sentence about him being imprisoned. I've corrected it (for next year).

If you ever catch errors like this in the future, feel free to contact us via the contact form on our website. Thanks and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Beloved, how is good to hear about people who becomes interested about Saint Gilbert. He was a good and saint man, founded the only monastic order in Medieval times in England. I love him and I founded a religious community called Fraternity Saint Gilbert inspired in him to renewal the dignity of God´s childrem. May God bless you always. Be under Saint Gilbert´s protection. In Christ, Fr. Carlos.