Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Lady of Walsingham

Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
at Julian House Monastery, Waukesha, WI

During the Middle Ages two shrines were especially popular among the English people: one honoring St. Thomas à Becket and the other, Our Lady of Walsingham. The latter shrine had its beginnings in 1061 and has remained England's principal shrine to Mary, Mother of God, "the only pre-Reformation shrine now in Anglican hands." (Fr. John Julian, OJN, Stars In A Dark World) In fact, the BBC did a nationwide poll six years ago, asking what was the favorite spiritual place for English people. The overwhelming winner was the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The motif of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham is based on the medieval seals of the priory in Walsingham. In 1921 Fr. Alfred H. Patten, then vicar of the Anglican parish in Walsingham Village, working with artists, architects, and church historians, was able to develop a statue based on the medieval seals. The Blessed Virgin sits on a high-backed throne, with the Child Jesus on her lap holding a book of the Gospels.

Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
you have revealed the beauty of your power
by exalting the lowly Virgin of Nazareth
and making her the Mother of our Savior:
May the prayers of our Lady of Walsingham
bring Jesus to the waiting world
and fill the hearts of all your people
with the presence of her Child,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.

No comments: