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One of the great Saints of England, Saint Richard de Wych was a Bishop of Chichester, a man of deep prayer and leadership. Famous for his writings, example and especially his statutes, Saint Richard won the favour of the people of England in the 13th century. As a bishop he worked among the laypeople and gave the greatest examples of humility, devotion and prayer.
Saint Richard was an Oxford scholar whose former tutor was Saint Edmund of Abingdon. He was ordained a priest after studying with the Dominicans. When he was elected Bishop of Chichester, King Henry III refused to accept him and forbade anyone to feed Saint Richard.
Unable to take up his seat in Chichester, Saint Richard spent some time with a friend in Tarring, West Sussex, cultivating figs while waiting to be permitted to take up his appointment and minister to the people. In his private life Saint Richard honoured the Passion of Christ, especially in the Scriptures, and lived a simple life of temperance.
He wore a hair-shirt and kept his diet very simple. Saint Richard was buried in Chichester Cathedral and his Shrine became one of the greatest placed of pilgrimage in England, visited by people from abroad, with many miracle and cures recorded through his intercession. The Shrine of Saint Richard of Chichester was among many destroyed by King Henry VIII but remains a well-loved place of pilgrimage and prayer today.
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