Thanks be to you (St Richard of Chichester)

Thanks be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given me,
for all the pains and insults
which you have borne for me.

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
follow you more nearly,
day by day.

– Prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Saint Richard of Chichester, (c. 1197–1253), Bishop of Chichester. He was born at ‘Wych’ (i.e. Droitwich), and is hence sometimes known as ‘Richard of Wych’. After studying at Oxford and Paris, he became chancellor of the University of Oxford c. 1235 and a little later, under Archbishop Saint Edmund of Abingdon, chancellor of Canterbury. He accompanied Edmund in his exile and was with him when he died (1242). In 1244 he was elected Bishop of Chichester but, on the refusal of Henry III, who favoured Richard Passelew, a rival candidate, to surrender the temporalities of the see, he obtained consecration from Pope Innocent IV at Lyons in 1245. Only under the threat of excommunication did Henry give way. Richard was a man of deep spirituality and an excellent administrator of his diocese, where he did much to raise the standard of clerical life. He was canonised by Urban IV in 1262. His shrine in Chichester Cathedral, where many cures are said to have been wrought, was destroyed by order of King Henry VIII in 1538. Feast day is 3 April.

Cross, F. L., & Livingstone, E. A. (Eds.). (2005). In The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed. rev., p. 1405). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

RICHARD was born A.D. 1197, in the little town of Wyche, eight miles from Worcester, England. He and his elder brother were left orphans when young, and Richard gave up the studies which he loved, to farm his brother’s impoverished estate. His brother, in gratitude for Richard’s successful care, proposed to make over to him all his lands; but he refused both the estates and the offer of a brilliant marriage, to study for the priesthood at Oxford. In 1135 he was appointed, for his learning and piety, chancellor of that University, and afterward by St Edmund of Canterbury, chancellor of his diocese. He stood by that Saint in his long contest with the King, and accompanied him into exile. After St Edmund’s death, Richard returned to England to toil as a simple curate, but was soon elected Bishop of Chichester in preference to the worthless nominee of Henry III. The King in revenge refused to recognise the election, and seized the revenues of the see. Thus Richard found himself fighting the same battle in which St Edmund had died. He went to Lyons, was there consecrated by Innocent IV. in 1245, and returning to England, in spite of his poverty and the King’s hostility, exercised fully his episcopal rights, and thoroughly reformed his see. After two years, his revenues were restored. Young and old loved St. Richard. He gave all he had, and worked miracles, to feed the poor and heal the sick; but when the rights or purity of the Church were concerned, he was inexorable. A priest of noble blood polluted his office by sin; Richard deprived him of his benefice, and refused the King’s petition in his favour. On the other hand, when a knight violently put a priest in prison, Richard compelled the knight to walk round the priest’s church with the same log of wood on his neck to which he had chained the priest; and when the burgesses of Lewes tore a criminal from the church and hanged him, Richard made them dig up the body from its unconsecrated grave, and bear it back to the sanctuary they had violated. Richard died A.D. 1253, while preaching, at the Pope’s command, a crusade against the Saracens.

Shea, J. G. (1887). Pictorial Lives of the Saints (pp. 167–168). New York; Cincinnati; Chicago: Benziger Brothers.

The author who is credited with translating the prayer from the original Acta Sanctorum and bringing it to public notice, was Cecil Headlam in 1898.[25] The following version in the “Prayers of Saints” is quite different from the one that is familiar today :
Bishop of Chichester.
LORD JESU CHRIST, I thank Thee for
all the blessings Thou hast given me,
and for all the sufferings and shame Thou
didst endure for me, on which account that
pitiable cry of sorrow was Thine : ” Behold and
see, if there was any sorrow like unto My
sorrow ! ” Thou knowest, Lord, how willing
I should be to bear insult, and pain, and death
for Thee ; therefore have mercy on me, for to
Thee do I commend my spirit. Amen[26]

The prayer was adapted for the song “Day by Day” in the musical Godspell (1971), with music by Stephen Schwartz.[27] The words used, with a few embellishments, were based on the following from “Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition”:[22]
Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day.[24]

A portion of the prayer has been incorporated into the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church for use by the personal ordinariates established to bring the Anglican patrimony into the Church. Observance of the memorial of Saint Richard of Chichester on June 16th is inscribed in the calendar of Divine Worship: The Missal and the following Collect is provided:
MOST merciful Redeemer,
who gavest to thy Bishop Richard a love of learning,
a zeal for souls, and a devotion to the poor:
grant that, encouraged by his example,
and aided by his prayers,
we may know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
and follow thee more nearly,
day by day;
who livest and reignest with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God,
world without end. Amen.[28]

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