St. Richard was born at Droitwich, Worcestershire in England and was the second son of Richard and Alice de Wych. His parents died when he was young. His family fell upon hard times and to save his brothers farm from ruin Richard gave up his studies, took over management of the estates and brought them back.
He worked so hard that his grateful brother wanted to give the farms to him, but Richard would not accept them. He also chose not to marry because he wanted to go to college and get a good education. He knew that because he had very little money, he would have to work hard to pay for his education.
Richard went to Oxford University and when he finished his studies, he was given an important position at the university as Chancellor of Oxford. Later he became the Legal advisor of St. Edmund Rich and Saint Boniface of Savoy, the archbishops of Canterbury.
When St. Edmund died, St. Richard attended the Dominican House of Studies in France. There he was ordained a priest. Then he was made the bishop of Chichester, England, and that is why he is called Richard of Chichester.
King Henry III wanted his friend to be bishop and refused to let Richard in his own cathedral. The king also threatened the people of Chichester with punishment if they offered Richard hospitality. But some brave people helped him anyway, like one of the priests of Chichester, Father Simon of Tarring. The two men became great friends.
When the pope threatened to excommunicate the king, he stopped interfering and left Richard alone. As bishop, St. Richard did his duties well. He was always gentle and kind with the people. Once in a while, he had to be stern. He was brave and told people when they were doing wrong and were not sorry.
St. Richard became ill, and God let him know the exact place and time when he would die, in advance. His friends, including Father Simon of Tarring, were at his bedside. He died at Dover in England at the age of fifty-five in 1253.
Miracles and cures took place at his shrine in Chichester. He is shown in pictures as a bishop, with a chalice on its side at his feet because he once dropped the chalice during a Mass and nothing spilled from it.