English College 600 years old
THERE was a double celebration at the English College, Rome, last Saturday when on the 600th anniversary of the day on which the College (then a Hospice) was founded Cardinal Heard was formally received as the first alumnus to become its Cardinal Protector.
Cardinal Heard, a former Dean of the Sacred Roman
Rota and now a member of the Central Commission for the forthcoming Vatican Council, has lived in Rome mainly at the English College for 35 years.
The Papal Brief announcing his appointment as Cardinal Protector of the College was read by the Vice-Rector Mgr. Alan Clark. The Rector, Mgr. G. Tickle, gave a short address in which he recalled the loyalty to the Holy See which was the hallmark of the English College. the home of 44 martyrs. The appointment of Cardinal Heard, he said, was a sign of the good will of the present Holy Father towards the College.
The new Protector follows in an illustrious line of names which have included Cardinal Allen. founder of Douai and of the English College; Cardinal Howard who rebuilt the College as it stands to-day; Cardinal Vaughan and Cardinal Gasquet.
Cardinal Heard said he felt deep gratitude to the Pope. "I belong to this place, you might say, because I came here nearly fifty years ago," he said. To the present students he recalled the martyrs of the past whose heroism they were not very likely to have to follow but whose spirit they would certainly need. What mattered, he said, was the cheerful acceptance of God's will, and the readiness to give oneself cheerfully in God's service.
The English College was founded originally in 1362 by a Guild of Englishmen resident in Rome for the purpose of sheltering "those coming to the city from England, the poor, infirm, needy and wretched". With the breach with Rome in the 16th century the Hospice became the refuge of English exiles. On the suggestion of Cardinal Allen, Pope Gregory X111 gave its buildings and revenues for the training of priests for England. Thus was founded the Venerable English College, popularly known as the Venerabile which still occupies the site of the original hospice in the Via Monserrato.
The Hospice, as the College to-day, was dedicated to the Blessed Trinity and St. Thomas of Canterbury. Official celebrations of the sixth centenary will be held on the feast of the Trinity in June.
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