*Non-experts may not have realised that cardinals come in three flavours. The six cardinal-bishops have titular dioceses, the 200-odd cardinal-priests have titular churches, and the handful of cardinal-deacons make do with titular sheds. But we digress.
At 11 a.m. today people fell silent all round the country, as they remembered some of the achievements of Vincent Nichols; many were wearing little red flowers in honour of the cardinal. To celebrate his anniversary we re-post some pictures celebrating his finest moments.
Vincent Nichols finally gets the coveted "red shirt" of a cardinal.
It is a little-known fact that Vincent Nichols was the 13th incarnation of Doctor Who. Here he is shown confronting the forces of darkness, in the form of the Weeping Angels.
Not on the side of the angels. Not this time.
The cardinal tells us that he is very interested in "accompaniment", "walking with", "reverential listening" and "discernment". Here we see him explaining these concepts to a young admirer.
"Now, Damian, let me teach you about discernment."
But the life of a cardinal is not all a matter of rewriting Catholic teaching to suit the mood of the Tablet. There's fun and games too! Here we see our hero doing a rather inept "rabbit ears" on Archbishop Rowan Williams.
And it's not only Anglicans who receive spiritual nourishment at the hands of the cardinal...
Moreover, as we approach the year of Mercy, we should not forget Vin's welcome to all, in particular his persistent encouragement of "gay masses".
So let the celebrations begin! Tomorrow, to mark the 70th birthday of Cardinal Nichols, the Bank of England will issue a "Vin" £5-note.
As Americans know, there are 20 Nichols to the dollar.
So Happy Birthday to the man of whom people are already speaking in hushed tones as the future Pope Francis II. Unfortunately, this is not a joke.