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Bishop on the Western Front

by
17 April 2015

April 16th, 1915

EVERYONE must rejoice that the Bishop of London [Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram] has returned from the front safe and sound, having carried out his mission in the face of danger and difficulty. He passed, we are told, along the entire British front, often within the range of the enemy's guns, and through places devastated by shell-fire. Yet, amid the horrors of war, he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to men who came straight up from the trenches for the laying-on of his hands, celebrated the Holy Mysteries in ruinous barns, preached to thousands of soldiers in the field, and comforted the sick and convalescent in their shelters. To all the men he addressed he carried the love of their parents, their children, their wives and their sweethearts. From the Field-Marshal Commander-in-Chief to the humblest soldier with the Colours there was a warm welcome to the Bishop. Perhaps what touched them more than anything was his blessing of the graves of those who have fallen on the battlefield. The Bishop of London, in his largeness of heart, forgets nothing. He knew how the relatives of the slain would like to feel that their dear ones are lying in ground hallowed with Apostolic blessing. By this simple and gracious act he has endeared himself, we may be sure, even to many of those who have never seen him or heard his voice. . .

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