Presented by Fr. Peter Damian Massengill, OFM Conv., Custos ~ Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody of Our Lady of the Angels Province: The week of 23-26 of March 2015 saw a special moment in the history of the Greyfriars of Great Britain and Ireland. The body of King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet Kings who was also the last King of England to die in battle – the Wars of the Roses – had been discovered in a parking lot which was built over the ruins of the Choir of the Greyfriars Friary in Leicester England. After much scientific analysis for authenticity, and a great deal more political maundering on where to re-bury him, he was finally laid to rest in the Anglican Cathedral of Leicester on 26 March 2015.
Friar Peter Damian Massengill (not pictured) along with Friar Joseph Fenton, Friar Gerard Mary Toman, Friar Benedict Abugu and Friar Matthew Bond (pictured below in front of the last remaining wall of the Greyfriars Friary in Leicester) were invited to be special guest on Monday evening, 23 of March, for a Solemn Requiem Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. The Mass was held in Holy Cross Dominican Church a few blocks from the Leicester Cathedral.
On the 26th itself, Friar Peter Damian was interviewed by English television just prior to being escorted into the Cathedral to his seat among other dignitaries. The celebration for the re-burial of King Richard III was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and blended the best of Anglican and Catholic traditions. The first burial by the Greyfriars was a rush job given all that was happening at the end of the war, so this celebration was indeed one fit for a King.