Dominican Priories: Oxford
At the University of Oxford where I am presently staying, Our Lord has given [us] the promise of a great catch…” These words of the year 1230, written by Jordan of Saxony—St. Dominic’s first successor as Master of the Order—could just have well been written by his 84th Successor, fr Timothy Radcliffe, a member of today’s Dominican community in Oxford. By the time of Jordan’s visit, the brethren had been settled in Oxford for nine years and were already looking to build a larger house to replace the one they’d established on 15th August 1221. ‘Friar Fever’ had swept the city, with many new recruits signing up. John of St Giles was so overcome by fervour that in the middle of a sermon he was preaching on poverty, he was clothed in the habit. His biographer notes that he eschewed much more lucrative work to lecture in the Blackfriars Studium (plus ça change).