the restoration of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in 1921,
devotion to Mary under her ancient and national title has been steadily
growing among English-speaking Catholics throughout the world.
At a time like the present, when those in high authority in the Church
tolerate, and indeed encourage, and themselves promulgate opinions which
are in direct opposition to the faith of undivided Christendom, devotion
to the Blessed Virgin and all the fundamental truths therein implied,
is of very great importance as a bulwark to the Catholic truth.
The Shrine at Walsingham has therefore a very special significance, not
necessarily shared, at least to such a marked extent, by other Sanctuaries
of Our Lady. For as at Lourdes in the 19th Century, the Mother of God
appeared to Blessed Bernadette to proclaim the truth of the Immaculate
Conception; so here in our own land in the far off days of the 11th Century,
the Holy Virgin is reported to have revealed herself to Richeldis de Favraches
[sic] to inspire and re-inkindle the people of this land with a practical
and lively faith in the primary facts of the Incarnation of the Son of
Hence we see the purpose for the direction given by the Blessed Virgin
that a chapel should be built after the plan of the Santa Casa, which
at that time is believed to have stood in the crypt, before the entrance
to the cave of the Church of the Annunciation at Nazareth.
The same house in which Mary had dwelt before and after the coming of
the Archangel Gabriel, and in which "the Word was made flesh and
dwelt among us.” (The building, which is commonly reported to have
been translated to Loretto, in Italy, about two hundred years after our
Shrine had been founded.) Such a Sanctuary in the past would be sure to
stir up sentiments of piety and foster devotion.
In the 20th Century, surrounded as we are by the hopeless confusion of
so many people concerning the verity of the Divine Revelation; the ignorance
evinced in the very rudiments of the Christian religion; this spot, once
of world-wide reputation and influence, with its long tradition as a Holy
Place, and its historic evidence to the faith of our Fathers, has a real
place in the economy of the Church today.
The ancient chapel has gone - the vast priory church has been razed to
the ground - yet, for ever this place is England's " Holy Land”,
the " Nazareth " of the Northern world.
The Image representing the Mother of God with her Divine Son on her lap,
the ancient Parish Church with its many memories, the site of the original
Shrine, the Holy Wells, all combine to proclaim to the world the fact
that the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, Very God, came to the
Virgin Mary and took human nature and was born for us men and our salvation;
and Christendom believed that the Ever Virgin Mary, under the Divine guidance,
chose this place, in which a memorial should be erected in the form of
a Shrine, witnessing to the truth of this celestial Mystery.
During the past seven years Catholics have again begun to turn their steps
towards this ancient and national Sanctuary, and each year the number
of pilgrims seeking Walsingham increases.
The honour, to a very large extent, of the revival of these pilgrimages
rests wilt the officials of the League of Our Lady, who dared to make
the great adventure when others stood aloof.
Nowadays various societies and groups in rapidly growing numbers are following
the lead set by the League, and conduct their own pilgrimages to Walsingham
- while the L.O.L. continues to organise two Pilgrimages annually, one
in May and the other in August.
It was to a bare little Chapel that Our Lady's image was borne on that
July evening in 1921, to the accompaniment of the singing of a few
faithful and the clash of the bells in the old church tower, and placed
on the pillar facing the site of her ancient glory. Much has changed since
that day. Eight lamps now burn continually at the Shrine in honour of
the Incarnation of the Son of God, presented and maintained by various
groups of people, such as - Some Catholic Bankers - Settlers in South
Africa - a Body of Blind Catholics, and so on. While upon the pillar against
which the Image rests are many plaques testifying to the answers to prayer
vouchsafed in our own days in this Holy Place.
Many, too, are the candles set up in this little Sanctuary, by and on
behalf of Catholics from all parts of the Empire.
A book known as ''Our Lady's Book," is kept into which are written
the intercessions sent to be offered here. Each evening the Rosary is
said for all those who seek the prayers of Our Blessed Mother of Walsingham,
and every Wednesday Mass is read in the chapel for the intentions of all
who have visited the Most Holy Sacrament and sought the intercession of
Our Lady at the Shrine during the past week.
A number of clients of O.L.W. have linked themselves together into a Society
(the S.O.L.W.) in honour of this Sanctuary and to increase devotion to
the Mother of God under her title "of Walsingham." For these
Mass is sung every Saturday and a monthly Requiem offered for departed
members. Besides this a few scattered Catholics at home and abroad keep
"spiritual watches" at the Shrine having their candles set up,
and while seeking the Intercession of Our Lady are remembered here in
their turn at the daily Rosary.
The Hospice of Our Lady Star of the Sea was opened nearly three years
ago for the accommodation of pilgrims, and others seeking the sanctuary
for longer periods. This house is under the able direction of the Horbury
Here we are trying to build a little oratory for the accommodation of
the community, to be dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.
A neighbouring house which has been acquired is to be adapted for men
who prefer bachelor quarters to the more social life afforded at the Hospice,
and will he opened at Easter.
this year (1928) there have been five "Greater Pilgrimages",
consisting of the two annual events, under the guidance of the League
of our Lady. These parties are not confined to members of the League,
but are open to all who book places, giving, of course, the necessary
recommendation of their Parochial Clergy. Father Lester Pinchard directed
the May visit, and Father Roger Wodehouse led the pilgrims in August.
Under the shepherding of Father Ferrier Catholics from North of the Humber
came in the First Yorkshire Pilgrimage since the 16th Century.
Father Fynes Clinton again brought the Catholic League, and Father Eves
directed the London Pilgrimage. There have also been several organised
day or Wednesday Pilgrimages, the two most conspicuous being the Kettering
Anglo-Catholic and E.C.U. visit, and the second Norwich Anglo-Catholic
Congress Pilgrimage; this last being the final act of the Congress held
in that city last October. Groups of pilgrims have restarted the very
laudable custom of presenting bannerets to the Church in commemoration
of their visits.
One of our ancient pilgrim tokens, or signs, has been re-struck; small
images are made; books of devotion and pilgrim manuals, can now be had
at the official Pilgrim Shop in the village, and from the newsagents in
the High Street.
A home for little boys, under the patronage of S. Hugh of Lincoln, a great
servant of Our Lady, has been opened by the Holy Family Homes.
These activities all centre round the devotion of the English Nazareth,
and many more are the works we hope to be able to develop and establish.
Of course, this all needs very generous help both to maintain and to increase
our labours, and we trust the friends of Walsingham will not fail to remember
us in their prayers, intentions and good works. And so, in a little way,
the ancient life, ever old and yet always new, is springing up in this
"Holy Land," as it was called in the days of faith, as a witness
to the world of the truth that "The Word was with God, the Word was
God, and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
Dates Already Booked for 1929.
April 30th-May 2nd.—For Religious (Nuns). Conductor: The Rev. Fr.
May 14th-16th.—Eighth Annual League of Our Lady May Pilgrimage.
Conductor: The Rev. Fr. Humphrey- Whitby.
May 21st-23rd.—The Third Catholic League Pilgrimage. Conductor:
July 2nd-4th.—Birmingham and District Pilgrimage. Conductor: The
Rev. Fr. Fynes Clinton.
August 6th-8th.—The Second Yorkshire Pilgrimage. Conductor:
August 20th-22nd.—The Seventh Annual League of Our Lady August Pilgrimage.
will be arranged during the next few months, and particulars can be had
from the Pilgrimage Secretary, Walsingham, Norfolk.
on the Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Walsingham.
MASSES AND INTERCESSIONS.
Requests for Masses and Intercessions to be offered at the Shrine must
be sent to the Parish Priest or Sister Sacristan.
are entered in Our Lady's Book and are removed after five weeks, unless
further application is sent in.
All Answers to Prayer should be notified at once.
Votive lamps can be presented and maintained at the Shrine. For particulars,
application should be wade to the Secretary of the Lamps, S. Hugh's, Walsingham.
From 1d. to 25s., can be set up on receipt of P.O. for amount :
1d. Candle Daily for 3 months 7/6 1½d. Candle Daily for 3 months
” 6 15/0 ” 6 £1/2/6
“ 12 £1/10/0 ” 12 £2/5/0
Larger ones, prices in proportion.
Profits derived from these go to the Priests' Stipend and Hospice Funds
equally. Both these funds depend upon the generosity of our friends.
OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM,
A fraternity to bind clients of Our Lady of Walsingham together by mutual
prayer and intention, and to encourage pilgrimages to Our Lady of Walsingham.
Particulars. Miss M. Lloyd, Richeldis Cottage, Walsingham.
Conducts two Pilgrimages annually to the Shrine. All particulars can be
had from the Rev. Fr. Lucy[Lury], S. Peter's Vicarage, Limehouse, E.,
or The Pilgrimage Secretary, Walsingham.
OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA.
Fur the accommodation of Pilgrims and others seeking to visit the Shrine.
Charges very moderate. Apply to the Sister in Charge.
HOME (for Boys).
One of the Holy Family Homes. Should be visited and supported by all clients
of Our Lady. Donations to he sent to The Matron, S. Hugh's, Walsingham.
There are three recognised methods of making the Walsingham Pilgrimages.
The Little Pilgrimage, The Wednesday Pilgrimage, and the Greater Pilgrimage.
Parish Priests and others intending to conduct pilgrims to the Shrine
should make enquiries and application through the Secretary of the Pilgrimage
AND PILGRIM SHOP.
Is the official bureau for pilgrim tokens, medals. statues of Our Lady
of Walsingham, &c.
From the Misses Banson, High Street, Walsingham, or the Church Shop.
The Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Walsingham ... 6d.
Pilgrimages: A Tract 2d.
An English Churchman's Guide to Walsingham ... ... 9d.
From the Pilgrimage Secretary.
The. Scapular, by Fr. Fynes Clinton ... ... 2d. post free.
For three or four months (or part thereof) in the Summer, a Priest to
read Low Mass and Evensong on Sundays at S. Peter's Church at Walsingham,
in return for £1 1s. a week and a very small cottage.
One who would he willing to help also with the Pilgrimages.
Apply, Parish Priest, Walsingham.
of this review can be had from the Pilgrimage Secretary, Richeldis Cottage,
Walsingham, price 1d. each; 7d. per dozen; 1/1½per two dozen, &c.,
for distribution, post free.
Review is a 4-page leaflet, 12" X 9", as shown in the
text on the left. It has nine photographs - five of the interior of
the parish church and shrine within it, and four of pilgrimages, which
are shown in the thumbnails below.
on their way to the site of the Holy House
group of Norfolk pilgrims
going to the holy wells
at the holy wells