Pastoral Notes, 13th November 2016

Blessed John Duns Scotus
On 8th November the Church commemorates a saint whose name tells much of his story. Blessed John was born in Duns, Berwickshire in Scotland – hence ‘Scotus’, the old Latin for Scot – in 1266. He joined the Franciscan Order and studied in Oxford, but was ordained to the priesthood in 1291, in the church of St Andrew in Northampton – one reason for remembering him as a local saint. He then taught in Oxford and Paris alternately until 1307 and then moved to Germany where he died at the age of 43. He is especially associated with the feast of the Immaculate Conception. He described the Blessed Virgin Mary being kept free from original sin by the merits of her son from the first moment of her existence – something only formally accepted by the universal Church in 1854 – and so becoming the first patron of our (new) diocese, founded in 1850.