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St Frideswide, Patroness of Oxford

St Frideswide's Shrine

St Frideswide’s Shrine (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

St Frideswide is the Patroness of Oxford.

A holy virgin, worthy to be reckoned
Among the wise, O friends, we celebrate;
A daughter she of the king’s mother Mary,
Adopted sister of the Son of God.
She with the curb of fasting tamed her flesh,
And cut off luxury by suffering’s sward.
With all the enemy’s assaults she wrestled;
Trusting in Christ, she smote and vanquished him.
With joyous spirit following the bridegroom,
Who from the courts of heaven did visit her,
Into his chamber hastened she to enter.
O thou, in fullness of delights abiding,
Plead before Christ our present low estate,
And make for us a plenteous consolation.

—from the Sarum use.

John Whitehead tells us that in the Oratorian church in Oxford the following hymn has been sung after Mass in her honour.

St Frideswide

St Frideswide, pray for Oxford.

Frideswide our patron, clear our clouded sight;
Help dissolve our darkness, bring us God’s own light.
Child of royal parents, courted by a king,
Sought a crown of glory, spurned a wedding ring.

Frideswide our patron, clear our clouded sight;
Help dissolve our darkness, bring us God’s own light.

Powerful and peaceful, vowed to God alone,
Frideswide chose a heavenly, not an earthly throne.
Prayer and meditation raised her soul above
All this world’s attraction; Jesus held herlove.

Frideswide our patron, clear our clouded sight; 
Help dissolve our darkness, bring us God’s own light.

Algar of Leicester planned to do her wrong,
Sent his men to seize her, Frideswide’s faith was strong –
In an instant blinded then his sight restored,
They knew both the wrath and mercy of the Lord.

Frideswide our patron, clear our clouded sight; 
Help dissolve our darkness, bring us God’s own light.

Wonders of healing Frideswide’s prayers obtained –
Crooked limbs were straightened, speech the dumb regained.
Through her intercession may the grace be ours
For God’s use to offer all our gifts and powers

Frideswide our patron, clear our clouded sight;
Help dissolve our darkness, bring us God’s own light.

Light filled the city as she passed away
Journeyed through death’s shadow into endless day,
There we hope to join her, by the truth set free,
Where we have our treasure, there our hearts shall be.

Frideswide our patron, clear our clouded sight;
Help dissolve our darkness, bring us God’s own light.

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