Our Lady's Mirror

Autumn 1946

The Hall in College [now known as the College Refectory]
Fr Patten's habit of calling his first issue early in every year the 'Winter' number, together with the irregularity of publication, can cause confusion, and does so particularly in the years 1947-1948. This last 1946 edition is the Autumn Number, followed by Winter Number 1947, Spring/Summer Number 1947, Autumn and Winter Number 1947-8, Spring Number 1948, Summer Number 1948, Autumn Number 1948, Winter & Spring Number 1949.
This Autumn “Mirror” coming so close upon the last copy will perforce have to be a very small number, but as we gave you nineteen pages then we are sure you will be happy to have a reduced paper now rather than only three for 1946. We hope you will receive our publication so that our wishes for a very happy and blessed Christmas may be in time, while all blessings are sought for our readers for 1947. At a recent Chapter of the College of Guardians it was decided to elect as Honorary Fellows of the College of Guardians a very limited number of clergy and laymen who have shown their particular interest in and support of the work of the Sanctuary, and who, we feel, would appreciate the honour. Further, some of the Guardians may have served for a long time and be unable to attend the Chapters owing to age or inability to travel. It was resolved that such, on resignation, might be elected to the rank of Guardians Emeritus in recognition of all they have done for our Lady and her Shrine. Some of our readers know of the very great gift given to the Shrine this summer, namely some relics of S. Thomas of Canterbury. These relics consist of bone of the Saint and are indeed one of our greatest treasures; very minute indeed are the three little fragments, but more precious than gold. A small bust expository is being made and given to contain the reliquary, and a wooden feretory has been constructed and decorated to contain this. We hope to solemnly receive and to expose the relics on the Feast day of the Blissful Martyr. This gift comes from Canon Vivan Peterson of Ohio, and they came into his possession with their letters of Authorisation, from Rome. So they have travelled nearly round the world. Their journey from America to England was made by air, and from London to Walsingham by car. What would S. Thomas have said at such a prophecy if it had been made to him in 1170? The Administrator has, virtually all his life, hoped to possess two relics: those of his patrons, S. Hugh of Lincoln and S. Thomas of Canterbury. At last after all these years of waiting S. Thomas’s have arrived, and now he waits hopefully for those of his chief Patron, so that these can be added to those preserved at the Shrine. Several times we have drawn attention to the bareness of the Shrine garden, in the hope that our friends would do something to renew its beauty. In 1931 and the subsequent years all sorts of plants, bulbs and shrubs were sent, but during the war, through unavoidable neglect, the ravages of birds, beasts and, we fear, man, little remains. Can you send us cuttings from your own plants and shrubs? These can be tended with care now, and they will not cost you anything except the postage. Perhaps too you can beg some from your friends’ gardens? After all, we want our Lady’s precincts to “blossom like a rose”. The little quadrangle of the College has been gay with flowers all through the Spring and Summer and now with the gloomy days of November it still struggles to please. On S. Hugh’s day (November 17th) a large bowl was on the high table in the Hall in which were the following blooms: Viburnum Burkwoodii; Coronilla; Phlox; Mignonette; Pinks; Sweet Sultan; Periwinkle; Antirrhinum; Sweet William; Ten Week Stock; Marigold – quite an achievement. THE COLLEGE Our readers have heard a lot about the Priests’ College and a photograph of a corner of the quad was published some time back. We now are able to print three pictures by Claude Fisher of the interior. The rooms shown consist of three condemned cottages of the 15th or 16th century; condemned as unfit for human habitation and ordered to be demolished. Permission, however, was granted for their adaptation, and after having remained uninhabited and open to the elements from all sides for eight to ten years the Administrator was able to take the matter in hand with the result shown. The undercroft is adapted from three small ground floor rooms – the corridor, looking into the Hall shows the fireplace, above which are the remains of a 16-17th century wall painting, temporarily covered. The third picture is of the College Dining Hall made from three small bedrooms. Note the 15th-16th century doorway left in situ where one of the lath and plaster walls crossed the building. Other cottages in no worse condition belonging to the Walsingham College Trust are awaiting the necessary funds and local permits to be dealt with. ENGLAND'S NAZARETH: THE SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM: Most English Catholics have heard of the restoration of the Shrine of our Lady at Walsingham and although many make the pilgrimage in honour of the mystery of the Incarnation, there are a great many who are deterred by reason of expense. It has now been found possible, from experience, to make the visit in one day, and so avoid the necessity of sleeping away from home. This has been done by pilgrims who have come from so far as St. Leonards-on-Sea and back in the day, and so the journey from London is, by road, a comparatively simple journey. For those working in offices the Sunday pilgrimage offers great possibilities, and by starting at a fairly early hour pilgrims can reach Walsingham in time for the Parish Mass, make their visit to the Shrine, etc., and return home to town or elsewhere in the cool of the evening. articles: R L Gales, 'The Bishop's Cope' [a poem]; 'An Anglican looks at Our Lady: Our Lady looks at an Anglican'; Alex Tiddeman, 'Notre Dame des Victoires' photographs: of the College: The Hall [above], the Undercroft and Common Room, Corridor to the Hall; Shrine of OLW at St Peter's, Acton; Shrine of OLW in Grace Church, Sheboygan, USA