Our Lady's Mirror

Spring/Summer 1947

A photograph from the Jubilee procession
The Jubilee has come and gone – twenty-five years – a quarter of a century is a large part out of one’s life, but such a small fraction of our history. The original Holy House of O.L.W. presumably stood intact for four hundred and seventy-seven years – nineteen jubilees. Let us hope and pray as many again will be celebrated within the restored Shrine, although it is more than conceivable that the Pilgrimage Church which covers it may be rebuilt or enlarged as the centuries pass; but we trust the Holy House will go down the ages and become truly venerable. There has been a continuous stream of pilgrims, and for several weeks after Easter a number of organised pilgrimages, many choosing rather to come in May than swell the numbers of July 5-12. The Whit Monday Pilgrimage was as crowded as usual and we were pleased to have the Bishop of the Windward Islands with us, and he preached both on Whit Sunday and the evening before. On the Monday, Canon Wakefield gave the oration. We have revived the evening procession in honour of Our Lady for the week-end and mid-week pilgrimages, a feature which we had to omit during the war owing to carrying lights out-of-doors. The Hospice has been very full again this summer, and a number of old clients of Our Lady as well as new pilgrims have been with us. William is getting the Shrine Gardens well in hand – they had been sadly spoilt during the years of upheaval – but we are still asking for shrubs, trees and bulbs to replace the depreciation. Father Derrick, our tireless pilgrimage Secretary and Bursar, is away on a much-needed rest. He was on the verge of a breakdown owing to the constant and unremitting demands upon him. We still want three more priests for the College. Are there no young priests with vocation to devote their lives to the service of Our Lady and her National Shrine? Why is it that the Sanctuaries of the Mother of God abroad are so well served by priests, and here in England the National Shrine seems to have no appeal? The Pilgrimage Office has now been moved to a central position in the High Street, next door to Burns, Oates and Washbourne, so we are in good company! All enquiries, etc., should be made there during office hours. There the Bursar has his private inner sanctum, and in an outer room the Assistant Secretary is enthroned. The 'phone number is Walsingham 255. The Star, a decoration for Guardians (in gold) and Honorary Guardians (in silver) has been struck. This contains the arms of the College of Guardians in the centre, and can be worn either suspended by a ribbon over the mantle or cotta, or pinned on the coat on all occasions connected with Walsingham or functions of Our Lady. A growing interest in the National Shrine of Our Lady is reported from America, and with the return to normal, slow as it is, there seems every prospect of a number of visitors from that Continent. NOTICE TO LADIES VISITING WALSINGHAM Pilgrims and visitors are requested to cover their heads when approaching the Sacraments or visiting the Shrine and Churches of these parishes. Also, will they refrain from lip-stick before going to the Altar; especially does this apply to those who receive the Chalice. Ladies do not realise how very unpleasant it is when their lips are “made up” and stains may be left on the Chalice as a result – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. articles: 'The story of the Shrine 1922-1947' [a history by Fr Patten]; R A Pottinger, 'A Welsh Shrine' [St Nidan]; Bishop O'Rorke, 'What a Pity'; H J F-C, 'Orthodox Prayer to Our Lady'; Peter Fitzjohn, 'The Nettuno Madonna: an unsolved mystery'; R L Gales, 'The Images' [a poem]; H J F-C, 'Opus Dei: The Divine Office'; Peter Fitzjohn, 'Le Grand Retour' photographs: three photographs of the July 12th [jubilee] procession [one above]; The Shrine Church from the Norwich road; Shrine of OLW, St George's, Wolverhampton; Shrine chalices; Shrine reliquaries