Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pope Benedict and Walsingham: Things on my mind Part 2

In all the speculations about venues which our Holy Father may visit, if and when he comes to the UK next year, I have not once seen a mention of Walsingham. He has made a habit of visiting the most important national shrine of every country he has visited. He probably knows and values the significance and history of Walsingham better than many English Catholics do these days. I will find it very hard to believe that he will set foot in the 'dowry of Mary' and not visit Walsingham. It would probably have to be a private un-televised visit because the infra-structure of the place could not cope with vast crowds. Nevertheless, please join me in praying that Pope Benedict will be the first pope since the Reformation to be a pilgrim there. If he is not, it will be a missed opportunity of gargantuan proportions. My hopes are high that he will risk no such thing.

The other point is of course, that there is an Anglo-Catholic shrine at Walsingham. In the present 'climate' a papal visit to this and to the pre-reformation Slipper Chapel where pilgrims used to leave their footwear before completing the final stage of the pilgirmage, would speak volumes. Other places in England that I would wish him to visit, unfettered by politics and the 'establishment'? St. Dunstans in Sussex which has the head of St. Thomas More , St. Etheldreda's church, the only pre-reformation church in London still in Catholic hands, and of course the shrine of St. Thomas a Beckett at Canterbury. But most of all, please - Walsingham!

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us and for England, thy Dowry..


sandy said...

Of all the wishes that I have in my heart

Of all the wishes that I have in my heart,the greatest one is that our Holy Father would visit Walsingham.Some time ago I wrote thanking him for his Summorum Pontificum, and humbly asked that he might visit that Holy place.I felt that there was a small chance that he might read the letter.....
I was at Walsingham in November, and I did not forget you Jane.

Jane said...

Oh Sandy, I too wrote to him on the same two issues about 18 months ago. The tone of the reply which came via the nuncio in Paris was such as to convince me that he had seen the letter. He didn't mention a visit to England or Walsingham, but he couldn't because as you know he has to be officially invited, and my letter went to him at least a year before he was!The thing that was and is most precious to me, is that he promised to remember me in his prayers. Anyway, I can't believe that ours were the only two letters of that kind. and I'm sure that they, and all the others, are in his heart. I know in mine, that he truly does understand English Catholics and will do what he can for us.

God bless now, and have a happy and blessed Christmas,slthough we may have further communication before then!

Thank you for your prayers in 'that holy place'.

Sandy said...

I read somewhere that he does read every letter,and he indeed does remember the writer in his prayers.We seem to be on the same road Jane,although I am somewhat behind you....
A blessed and holy Christmas to you and remember me in your lovely chapel.

Jane said...

Sandy, I don't think you are behind me. Rather with me. Let's keep in step.

In the chapel, one of the candle holders at the Sacred Heart shrine is empty. It will not be empty after I've gone up there tomorrow morning.

God bless and sleep well,