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BIEGIDA


578


BIRMINGHAM


to assume the "black cap" in pronouncing sentence of death is identical in origin.

Barbier de Montault. Le costume et les usages ecclesias- Unues (Paris, 1901), I, 227-236; Bock, Liturgische Geu-ander (Munich, 1866). II, 342 sqq.; de Vert, Explication des cere- monies (Paris. 1710). II. 273-277; Bon.ax'ni. Gerarchia Eccle- siastica (Rome, 1720), plates 17, 18. 19; Stahl in Kirchenlei.. II, s. V. Biret; Clark in Archaoloaical Journal (London. 1S93 and 1904), L, 147 sqq. and LXI, 32 sqq.; Robinson. The Pileus Quadratus in Transactions of St. Paul's Ecchsiological Society (London. 1905), V. 1-16. The most thorough account is to be found in Bratx Die Liturgische Gewandung (Freiburg, 1907), 321, 510, .514.

Herbert Thurston.

Birgida, Birgrit, Birgitta. See Bridget, S-\int.

Birinus (Berix), S.\ixt, Confessor, first Bishop of Dorchester (in wliat is now the County of Oxford, not Dorchester, tlie capital of Dorsetshire), and Apostle of Wessex; date of birth unknowTi; d. 3 De- cember, 650, at liis see and was buried in his own church there. Later (680) his remains were de- posited by Bishop Headda in the cathedral at Winchester, where finally (4 September, 972) Bishop Ethelwold enslirined them in silver and gold. Ac- cording to Bede, Birinus came to Britain on the advice of Pope Honorius I (625-638), having been consecrated bishop by Asterius at Genoa. He promised "to sow the seed of the holy faith in the inner parts beyond the English ", but on his arrival (634) found the West Saxons so pagan that he decided to devote his ministry to them. God blessed his zeal by the conversion of their king, CjTiegils (635), of his son Cwichelm (636), and of Cwichelm's son Cuthred (639). Cj'negils' daughter (Cjaieburga?) was also baptized, and Oswald, the holy Iving of Northumbria , who had come to Cynegils in suit of her hand, was sponsor to her father and wedded her. Doubtless his presence helped Birinus much in his first spiritual conquests. Immediately after this, Oswald and Cynegils gave him Dorcic, or Dorchester, the capital of Wessex, for his see, where "he buUt and consecrated many churches and by his labours called many to the Lord.

Birinus had great devotion for the Body of Our Lord, as is shown in the account of liis walking on the sea to procure the corporal given him by Pope Honorius, wherein he ever carried the Blessed Eu- charist. Field strangely disposes of this miracle and others as allegorical or fabricated, after allowing, however, that their chroniclers had some common source of information lost to us now. Many mir- acles took place at the discovery of Birinus's relics, and Huntingdon among others speaks of "the great miracles of Birin". At present, there is a growing devotion to him in the Established Church, due probably to the connexion of the royal famUy with Cerdic. a side branch of whose stock was Cynegils. Field enmnerates many modern Protestant memo- rials. The Catholics of Dorchester honoured their patron, in, 1849, with a beautiful chapel.

Bede. Hist. Eccl. Ill, vii; IV. xii; Butler. Lives of the Saints. II; Allies, The Church in England (London, 1892). 37; Montalembert. Monks of the West, XI, 2; Field, Saint Berin, The .ipostle of IVesser (London and New York, 1902): Hardy, Catalogue of Materials for English History in R. S.. XLVIII; Giles, Six Old English Chronicles (London, 1896); Haddan AND Sttjbbs, CounciU, III.

Charles L. Kisiball.

Birkowski, Fabiax, Polish preacher, b. at Lem- bcrg, 1566; d. at Cracow, 1636. He completed his studies at the University of Cracow, where he also began to teach pliilosophy in 1587. After having taught there for five years he entered the Dominican Order (1592), and devoted himself for some time to a deeper study of theologj'. Thereupon he began his career as a preacher in the church of the Holy Trinity at Cracow where the king attended Divine worship. During fourteen years his fame as a preacher drew immense crowds. Sigismund III was much attached to him and often consulted him on matters temporal


and spiritual. He induced Birkowski to follow the court when it was transferred to Warsaw. He also appointed him court-preacher to his son Wladislaw. In the crusades of 1617 and 1618 against Turkey, Russia, and Walachia, the friar took no small part, and some of his best sermons were delivered to the soldiers. Two years before his death he retired to his monastery and never left it save to preach on some great occasion or in behalf of charity. Birkow- ski is considered one of the greatest orators of Poland. His contemporaries spoke of him as the "Sarmatian Clirysologus ", and posterity has not fomid anyone superior to him in purity of diction in the sixteenth century. He uses Scripture quotations very often, though he also refers frequently to Virgil, Horace, and Homer, and among later writers to Justus Lipsius. He has no respect for the learning and temper of Erasmus. Of his .sermons only a few have been published. There are three ^■olumes of sermons for Sundays and Holy Days, besides panegjTics on St. Josaphat, Sigismund III, his wife Constantia, and sermons on the Blessed Virgin delivered in camp.

QuETlF AND EcHARD. Script, ord . Prad.. II, 542; Mecher- ZY.NSKi, Hist, wymowy w Polasce, II, 325-329,

Thos. M. Schwertner.

Birmingham, Diocese of (Birminghamia, Bih- MiNGHAMiExsis). — One of the thirteen diocese.^ erected by the Apostolic Letter of Pius IX, 27 Sep- tember, 1850, which restored a hierarchy to the Catholic Church in England. It comprises the coun- ties of Oxford, Stafford, Warwick, and Worcester. It takes its name from the municipal city of Birming- h: _n in Warwickshire, the largest to'mi of the four counties. Previous to 1850, these same four counties; were included, first in the Midland, then in the Cen- tral, District or Vicariate, which had been governed by vicars-Apostolic since 1688, of whom by far the most illustrious was Bishop Milner (1803-26) — a man equally learned in polemics, ecclesiistical historj', and sacred archa'ology. To his untiring energies and undaunted front against a strongly organized schis- matical opposition, the Church in England owes its present stability and its solid ecclesiastical unit}'. Under Milner, whose episcopal residence was at Wolverhampton (Staffordshire), this vicariate be- came the starting-point and then the centre of the Catholic Movement, or Revival, in the last century (1800-50). Its prominence as well as its lustre was due not merely to its central position, but chiefly tn Milner's brilliant talents, his magnetic influence, and clear foresight. Its two educational establishments — Sedglej' Park School, Wolverhampton, and St. Mary's College, Oscott, Birmingham — presided over and staffed by exceptionally able men, lent their aid also to this great movement by supplj'ing a zealous body of clergj' and a laity thorouglily grounded in Catholic principles. When, later on, the Oxford movement led to so many conversions, Oscott Col- lege became the rallying point for the Catholic forces, inasmuch as its then president. Bishop Wiseman (1840-17). was the acknowledged leader and inter- preter. To Oscott John Henry NewTnan had come from Littlemore after his reception into the Church, and many other distinguished converts besides.

The last vicar-Apostolic of this henceforth historic vicariate was William Bernard UUathorne, O.S.B., who was consecrated 21 June, 1S46. After ruling the Western Vicariate for a short time he was trans- lated to the Central District, to become the first Bishop of the newly created See of Birmingham. Next to Wiseman, he had done most to promote the restoration of the hierarchy. On 27 October, 1850, Bishop UUathorne was enthroned in St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, when Dr. Newman preached his celebrated sermon "Christ on the Waters", second only to the "Second Spring" delivered at the First Provincial Synod of Westminster at Oscott