St. Osmund was the nephew of William the Conqueror, being the son of Henry Count of Scez, by Isabella, daughter of Robert, Duke of Normandy. Herman, his predecessor as Bishop, held the two sces of Ramsbury and Sherborne, which were united at Old Sarum in 1075. Osmund succeeded Herman in 1078. The Cathedral at Old Sarum may have been begun by Herman, but the greater part of it at any rate was built by Osmund, who not only built the Cathedral, but provided for its service by forming a Cathedral Chapter of Secular Canons. He modelled his Chapter upon that of Bayeux in Normandy and endowed it with lands, of which part had belonged to the Old Episcopal sees of Ramsbury and Sherborne, and part was his own property as Earl of Dorset, having been hestowed upon him with that title by William the Conqueror. For a time Osmund was Chancellor to the King, and he was employed in the compilation of Doomsday Book. He also, according to tradition, arranged the ofliccs or services known as the "Use of Sarum," which "use," in the later form that was probably the work of Bishop Richard Poore, was afterwards adopted by the greater part of England. The memory of St. Osmund Seems to have been highly venerated from a very early period. His chasuble, and a broken pastoral staff which had belonged to him, are mentioned among the treasures of the Cathedral in 1222, and so early as 1228 Bishop Richard Poore and his Chapter presented a petition for his Canonization to Pope Gregory IX., who thereupon issued a commission of enquiry into the merits of his life and miracles. The process of Canonization in the medieval Church was as follows. Upon the receipt of a petition for Canonization the Pope ordered an enquiry to be made, and issued such a commission as is mentioned above. When the report of the Commissioners had been received, a formal process was drawn up, and three Cardinals (usually Bishop, Priest and Deacon, and of three different nationss) examined the evidence and reported upon it to the Consistory. The Pope in Council then considered the alleged miracles one by one, and decided whether the life of the candidate had attained a sufficiently high standard of holiness to merit Canonization, If this examination was favourable to the petition the whole matter was submitted to the Archbishops and Bishops then at Rome; and if all were agreed, in another Consistory the place and time of publication of the Bull of Canonization were announced.
We Also Recommend