Jason Harris, UCC School of History, St Brigid in Paris, 1620: An Emblem of Catholic Revival.
1 February 2012, Wednesday, 4-5pm, ORB_255
On the feast of St Brigid in 1620, the newly-appointed bishop of Ossory, David Rothe, delivered a speech at the Irish College in the University of Paris. Drawing inspiration from the early history of Ireland’s saints, he exhorted Irish students to commit themselves to the missionary endeavour to restore Catholicism in Ireland. Rothe’s speech, or the subsequent printed version of it, offers a detailed insight into the rhetorical strategy of the Irish in Paris in the early seventeenth century, as they struggled with a poor public reputation as indigent and low-born refugees. The response to Rothe’s speech within the Scottish community in Paris, where he was labelled a ‘saint-stealer’, demonstrates the contested and competing nature of corporate identities as rival communities vied for patronage and cultural capital.