Our Lady's Mirror

Summer 1951

The Guardians’ stalls in the PIlgrimage Church
The Bursar has had his holiday, which included a second visit to the Abbey of Bec, where he delivered an image of Our Lady of Walsingham as a gift to the Lord Abbot from Sir William Milner. Since his return, however, he has had a third fall – which might have been very serious. While helping to take down the decorations at St. Mary’s after the Assumption, the ladder on which he was standing, about half-way up the West Wall – slid to the ground. He has had a very painful time since, but is now getting about with the aid of a stick, somewhat like an old man of eighty! The Administrator and Editor of the Mirror has lost his secretary and general factotum, with the result that he has now to do all his own correspondence and much extra office work besides. The car which has done so much service both in the parish and pilgrimage work is now perforce to go on the retired list – it’s just worn out and has continuously been going wrong for the last six months and so entailing endless repairs. If the work here is to be carried on with any efficiency a car is essential, and owing to the amount of carting by trailer, etc. which it has to do in connection with both pilgrim and parish work, it cannot be a small one. So we are faced with a great problem. We had hoped to have been able to use S. Augustine’s Chapel for the Feast, but alas, the work of decorating and furnishing has all been held up – the former for want of gold leaf, although two friends of the Shrine generously helped by giving some books and so enabled us to make a start. A Requiem was sung in the Pilgrimage Church for our dear friend, Archbishop Savva of Grodno. His death leaves another gap in our lives as he was a devoted client of Our Lady of Walsingham and the consecrator of the Orthodox Chapel. He had planned to come again for the Whitsun pilgrimage, but was prevented by his failing health. Your prayers are asked for the repose of the soul of this brave Prelate. Owing to unforeseen difficulties and the absence of the Editor’s secretary this belated Summer number has been enlarged, and comes to you as the Summer-Autumn number for 1951. TWENTY ONE YEARS OLD The restored Holy House is twenty-one years old next year and the anniversary of its hallowing is on October 15th. The public revival of devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham in Walsingham commenced thirty- one years ago while the destruction of the original Shrine and the concerted attempt to destroy the cult goes back four hundred and fourteen years. The Holy House as we are so frequently reminded was in the first place set up eight hundred and ninety-one years “since” as they say in Norfolk. One wonders if there was a great festa or pilgrimage in ten eighty-two for the “coming of age” of the Chapel built by Richeldis or if the people of Norfolk began to observe, in the Roman fashion, the year of jubilee. If this was so, the twenty-first should have taken place seventeen years before the dissolution while the forty-fourth jubilee the year before the restoration in the Parish Church. All this preamble is not just to make copy for an already overburdened number but to try to revive or introduce an old and good custom kept at some Shrines elsewhere. Of course, next year is not the Jubilee of the foundation of the Holy House of England’s Nazareth, but it is the majority of the reconstructed Chapel and so we want to make October the 15th next, a high day with pilgrimages coming from all over the country in thanksgiving to Our Lady for her prayers and help during the last twenty-one years of revival in the English Church. We would suggest that every Cell should being to make arrangements to, at least, send on representative and also that every Church where there is an image of Our Lady of Walsingham should do the same, while everyone who has received any favour from Our Lady under the title of Walsingham during the last twenty-one years should endeavour to visit the Shrine themselves or send someone to take their place and say “thank you” on that great day. At the moment it is proposed to have a torchlight procession from the Pilgrimage Church going to the Parish Church on the evening of the 14th, where there will be an oration followed by solemn High Benediction. The next morning about twelve o’clock a procession will be formed from S. Mary’s to the Shrine where there is to be a solemn High Mass. The afternoon will follow the ordinary course concluding with Benediction. Some such programme could provide for those who are able to come for the night of October 14th-15th, as well as those who can come only for the day, as on Whit-Monday, arriving about 12 midday. The intention of this festa will be one of Thanksgiving. articles: A H P, 'A Call'; Fr Alban Baverstock, 'England's Nazareth'; I H B, 'A sojourn in Brittany'; Peter Fitzjohn, 'Shrines of Thanet'; John Milburn, 'Crowned images of Our Lady' photographs: stalls in the pilgrimage church [above]; four photographs around the Shrine grounds; Fr Patten in his Master's regalia; statue of Our Lady of Good Help, Bruges; statue of Our Lady of Montserrat; Shrine of OLW, Grace Church, Sheboygan, USA