JOHNSON, RICHARD, 1604-1687.
MANUSCRIPT NUMBER 261
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CITATION: Richard Johnson Manuscript, MSS 261, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Richard Johnson was born Richard White, the son of poor Catholic parents,
in Winchester, England, in 1604. He adopted the name Johnson when
he began attending English College at Douay in 1623. He was ordained
priest on February 23, 1630. On May 23, 1630, Johnson became assistant
confessor at St. Monica’s at Louvain. He held that post for 20 years
until he became the principal confessor, a position he held for 36 years.
Johnson died at the convent on January 12, 1687.
Throughout his life, Johnson wrote many devotional treatises, however, most of these manuscripts were lost during the time of the French Revolution. In 1878 Rev. Thomas Edward Bridgett collected and published a few pieces of Johnson’s work in The suppliant of the Holy Ghost: a paraphrase of the Veni sancte spiritus. Included in that collection were paraphrases of “Veni Sancte Spiritus” and the “Pater Noster.”
The Dictionary of national biography, 1912-1921 : with an index covering the years 1901-1921 in one alphabetical series. London ; New York, Oxford University Press.
This manuscript consists of Catholic prayers, sermons, and meditations
paraphrased in English. It appears to be a sequence delivered at Mass
during Pentecost. The sequence most notably includes a paraphrase
of “Veni Sancte Spiritus.” In addition to the sequence, there is a
dedication of the book to his friends that declares the words contained
within as Johnson’s legacy. Another paraphrase, in different handwriting
is at the end of the book and appears to be unrelated to the sequence.
Notations on the inside front and back covers indicate the manuscript was
given to someone in 1762.