St. Richard Parish

Saint Richard Of Chichester

Richard de la Wych, better known as Saint Richard of Chichester (England) was born c.1197. Following studies at Oxford University and Paris, he served as Chancellor to St. Edmund at Canterbury. Following travels in Italy and France he decided to become a priest, serving in Kent for a time.

Ordained in France, he was elected Bishop of Chichester in 1244, but could not begin his duties for two years, until difficulties with King Henry III were resolved. He work hard to stem church abuses and authorized the now famous prayer that ends "May I know thee more clearly, love thee more deeply and follow thee more nearly". He died at Dover in 1253, after only eight years as Bishop.

Bishop Richard was canonized in 1262, upon which his body was transferred from a tomb in the north aisle to a shrine on the platform in the retrochair, immediately behind the high altar on the 16th of June 1276, in the presence of Edward I. This became the focus for thousands of pilgrims. The shrine remained in this position until destroyed by the order of Henry VIII late in the 16th century. The fate of the Saint's remains is not known. The anniversary of Saint Richard's death is the 3rd of April.