Today the church remembers Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, 1253.Had the leaders of the thirteenth century paid more attention to this wise and devout pastor and scholar, many of the disasters of the next three centuries might have been avoided. Grosseteste was a bright young man from Suffolk, England, who was educated by the church at Oxford and Paris. His charm, intellect, and piety gained the attention of the authorities and he was made master of Oxford and eventually consecrated Bishop of Lincoln. In that position his chief concern was for the welfare of his flock, both spiritually and temporally. He visited all the churches in the diocese and quickly relieved many of the prominent clergy because they were neglecting their pastoral duties. He staunchly opposed the corrupt practice of the Bishop of Rome of making Italian priests absentee clergy for English churches. He insisted that his priests spend their time in the service of their people, in prayer, and in study. He went on a pilgrimage to Rome where he spoke out boldly against many of the corruptions of the church. His sermons were moving and prophetic, but they went unheeded by the papacy. Back in England, where he was welcomed as a hero, he witnessed the signing of the Magna Carta, which he firmly supported, and continued his inexhaustible quest for knowledge, writing, studying and teaching astronomy, philosophy, optics, physics, poetry, and Holy Scripture. Grosseteste was a man of piety, integrity, courage, and compassion. Inspire us through the witness of Robert Grossetest, that we might be people of courage and compassion. Amen.
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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Robert Grosseteste to be a bishop and pastor in your Church and to feed your flock: Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit, that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.