Our Lady's Mirror

Spring 1939

view across the South Aisle into the chapels of SS Thomas and Philip Neri
The unprecedented world unrest should react as a stimulus to constant prayer on the part of all Christians, for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the Rulers of Europe, for a just and peaceful settlement of the problems facing the nations. The Holy Sacrifice and prayer are after all still the most powerful of all weapons and our Lord has promised that the gift of the Holy Spirit will not be refused to those who ask. Prayer, however, like Holy Communion, must be a mutual giving, and the Christian who seeks extraordinary, as well as normal blessings, must not only ask but at the same time unreservedly consecrate himself to the service of the good God. Our prayers fail because we hold ourselves back: it must be an holy interchange, and that necessitates the sacrifice and continual gift of ourselves to God – then anything may happen. Surely the times in which we live should make the use of the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham appeal to the imagination of all Catholics. More than ever we realise how feeble our intercessions are, and how dependent we are upon the all-powerful prayers of the Mother of God. The “great cloud of witnesses” is ready to help us at all time, and their Queen, like Esther, is able to touch the end of the Royal Sceptre and no request will be refused her, but we too must risk all – for God. The need of Europe ought to urge English as it does Roman Catholics to visit Walsingham more, and instead of causing people to say “I cannot go now,” it should make them say “I must go, at once, to ask our Lady’s aid.” “At once”. We are among those foolish people who believe one prayer more, one pilgrim more may just make up the balance needed. The time of the Annual Chapter of the Guardians of the Shrine, which normally is held in the Autumn, has been changed and will take place in June in future as it is a much better time for members of the College to assemble at Walsingham. A Second Chapter will, however, be called each year in the “fall” as our American friends call it, and will meet in London. The dome of the east end of the Pilgrimage Church, which forms the roof of the C.B.S. Chapel has been completed. The whole space has been covered in gold-leaf and Mr. Hungate [Howgate] of the Faith Crafts Guild has painted a picture of the hcv ccvrt of Our Lady, enclosed in an aura. This is in the Byzantine style, which is earlier than the Romanesque, but at the same time less archaic in treatment. The effect of this work is very good. A new venture is being made. It has been suggested that there ought to be a charity connected with the Shrine, and so the decision has been made to have a home for poor and destitute children. If support justifies this work then perhaps the scheme may develop into a series of homes. As a preliminary to this plan we hope Father Bernard Walke's home at S. Hilary will shortly be transferred to Walsingham and that it may eventually be incorporated into our scheme. As we all know the Church has suffered grave persecution there and the impossible conditions of Church life which have been introduced since the resignation of the last incumbent have made it out of the question for the children of the home to remain. We hope Walsingham will take them to its heart and that they will be real Children of Our Lady. Two cottages have been bought for this home by Father Walke's Committee. Have you see the two Walsingham films belonging to the Church Union? They are quite splendid. The Organising Secretary came to Walsingham and showed four pictures of the Catholic Movement in England, including these two which depict the opening of the extensions last June. All sorts of local celebrities were hailed by the audience with shouts and a great number of people from all over the country were recognised, also. We had no idea we lived in such a beautiful part of the country! All interested in Walsingham and its work ought to hire these reels from Abbey House: they cannot fail to give much interest and inspire those who have not yet sought the pilgrim way, to do so. A Youth Hostel, under the management of a member of the congregation of S. Mary’s has been opened at Great Walsingham for hikers and others. Pilgrims coming to the Shrine in that way, and only able to afford the very nominal charges made at these Hostels, should write for particulars and if possible make use of it. Special arrangements, owing to the peculiar status of Walsingham as a pilgrimage place, have been made by the police so that the Souvenir Shops are to be allowed to open on Sundays on condition that they all close on one whole day in the week. SPECIAL NOTICE From Father Patten The Chapel of S. Anne, which is also that of the Fourth Joyful Mystery, is the Chapel built by members of the Society of our Lady of Walsingham in the Pilgrimage Church. I am anxious that a copy of the central panel of the fine triptych by Q. Matsys entitled THE LEGEND OF S. ANNE, should be secured for this altar. Such a copy, by a Flemish artist, can be obtained if the necessary sum is collected for its purchase. It will cost £100 (one hundred pounds). If any member or members of the Society or other friends of Walsingham would like to give or help to get this picture, cheques or postal orders, for however small a sum, should be sent direct to me, and if the amount required is not received during the next few weeks all donations will be returned. photographs: view across the South Aisle into the chapels of SS Thomas and Philip Neri [above]; The Legend of St Anne, by Quentin Matsys [painting]; Fr Patten in the gardens