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boy bishop

boy chosen to act as bishop in connection with the Feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28, in a custom widespread in Europe during the Middle Ages. In England, where the practice was most popular, a boy bishop was elected on December 6-the feast of St. Nicholas, the patron of children-and retained possession of his office through the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The boy bishop was frequently chosen from among the choir boys, but in some regions the honour was given to one of the children attending the school attached to the cathedral or monastery.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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