Saint Richard of Chichester, also known as Richard de Wych, was born in 1197 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England. He was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII in 1262. He is the patron saint of bakers, candle makers, lawyers, diocese of Chichester, England and the city of Chichester, West Sussex, England.
Richard was educated at Oxford and Paris and later became a canon at the cathedral of Chichester. He was appointed as a Chancellor of Chichester in 1244 and was ordained as a priest in 1245. In 1253, he was elected as the Bishop of Chichester. He was known for his piety and humility and was known to wear simple clothing and give away his possessions. During his time as Bishop of Chichester, Richard worked to reform the church and the clergy in his diocese. He enforced clerical celibacy, encouraged frequent communion and confession, and implemented liturgical reforms. He also worked to improve the care of the sick, the education of the clergy, and the care of the poor.
Saint Richard’s feast day is April 3rd, the date of his death in 1253. He was buried in Chichester Cathedral, which later became a pilgrimage site. His shrine became so popular that it had to be moved to a larger chapel. His remains were exhumed in 1538, during the Reformation, and reinterred in 1678.
Saint Richard is remembered for his devotion to the poor and for his commitment to the reform of the church. He is also remembered for his strong devotion to the Eucharist and for his famous prayer, which is still recited today: “O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.”
St. Richard is a powerful example of one who devoted his life to serving God and his fellow man. His feast day is a reminder of the power of faith and service to others.