Bishop and leading figure in England during his era, also called Richard de Wyche. Born at Wyche, Worcestershire, England, he was orphaned while a young lad, managed to regain his fortune which had been mismanaged by others, and received an excellent education at Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, Italy. At Oxford, he studied under the famous Robert Grossteste and became friends with St. Edmund Rich. He earned a doctorate in law from the University of Bologna. He was appointed chancellor of Oxford in 1235 and then chancellor to Edmund Rich, who by now was archbishop of Canterbury. After accompanying Edmund into retirement at the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny, France, he departed the community upon Edmund’s death, taught at the Dominican house in Orkans, and was ordained there in 1243. Upon going home to England, he was named chancellor to Edmund’s successor, St. Boniface of Savoy. When King Henry Ill appointed Ralph Neville to the see of Chichester in 1244, Boniface declared the nomination invalid and named Richard to the post, an act which caused an uproar in the kingdom. Finally, in 1245, Pope Innocent IV found in Richard’s favour, but Richard was prevented from entering his palace by the machinations of Henry. Only after the king was threatened with excommunication was Richard able to take up his duties. He insisted upon strict adherence to discipline among the clergy, aided the poor, and fearlessly denounced the corruption and vices of the contemporary Church and the royal court. His death came at Dover, in a home for poor priests, while delivering a plea for a crusade. Richard was canonized in 1262, and his tomb became a popular shrine noted for its miracles until the Reformation in England.
INTROIT Sir 45:30
The Lord made a covenant of friendship with him, and made him a prince; that he should possess the dignity of priesthood forever. Ps. 131:1 Remember, O Lord, David and all his meekness. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, who by the merits of thy blessed confessor bishop Richard didst shed upon thy Church the lustre of glorious miracles, grant that through his intercession we thy servants may reach the glory of everlasting bliss: Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Feria Quinrta infra Hebdomadam IV in Quadragesima
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who are chastising the flesh by fasting, may rejoice in this holy practice and thus, with earthly passions subdued, we may the more readily direct our thoughts to heavenly things. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
EPISTLE Sir 44:16-27 45:3-20.
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus: Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, by an oath, the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
Eccl 44:16 Here was a great priest whose life was acceptable to God. V. 20. Where shall we find another to keep the law of the Most High as he kept it?
Ps. 111:1-3 A blessed man is he who fears the Lord, bearing all love to his commandments. V. Children of his shall win renown in their country; ever the sons of the just shall find a blessing. V. Esteem dwells with such a man, and great prosperity; fame shall record his gracious deeds eternally.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his particular ability, and then he went on his journey. And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more. In like manner, he who had received the two gained two more. But he who had received the one went away and dug in the earth and hid his master’s money. Then after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; behold, I have gained five others in addition.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had received the two talents came, and said, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; behold, I have gained two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88:21-22
I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, that My hand may be always with him, and that My arm may make him strong.
Grant we pray thee, merciful God, that with thy blessed confessor bishop Richard pleading for us, the gift we offer here before thy majesty may obtain for us the grace to live a good life now, and eternal glory hereafter: Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Comm. Feria Quinta infra Hebdomadam IV in Quadragesima
Cleanse us, O merciful God, so that the prayers of Your Church, which we bring You as a pleasing gift, may be even more pleasing to You, once our hearts are purified. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12:42
The faithful and prudent servant whom the master will set over his household to give them their ration of grain in due time.
May this holy eucharist of which we have partaken, Lord, and of which thy blessed confessor bishop Richard was a devout minister, accomplish in us its saving work: Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Comm. Feria Quinta infra Hebdomadam IV in Quadragesima
O Lord, we beseech you, do not allow the heavenly gifts, which You have given for healing Your faithful people, to become a reason for condemning those who receive them. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL Luke 7:11-16
At that time, Jesus went into a city called Naim; and His disciples and a large crowd went with Him. And as He drew near the gate of the town, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large gathering from the town was with her. And the Lord, seeing her, had compassion on her, and said to her, Do not weep. And He went up and touched the stretcher; and the bearers stood still. And He said, Young man, I say to you, arise. And he who was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. But fear seized upon all, and they began to glorify God, saying, A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited His people.