Thursday 22 September 2011

Walsingham and Fr Rear's new book.

During July, while I was back in the UK I read Fr Michael Rear's new history of Our Lady's Shrine at Walsingham, England, Walsingham: Pilgrims and Pilgrimage. Without doubt, this is the finest and fullest history of the Shrine that I know; Fr Rear has done a great service to Our Lady and to the Church. His research into the original house of Our Lady in Nazareth, the early documentation about the foundation of England's Nazareth (which certainly does point to the year 1061), the Shrine at its medieval greatness and its destruction, together with a presentation of the people and events (Catholic and Anglican) that surround the re-founding of the Shrine at the beginning of the twentieth century, give us a greater sense of the significance of this shrine. I hope that Our Lady's shrine at Walsingham will become, more and more, a real centre of the Faith in England; that many will be converted, awoken and renewed through the grace of Walsingham, and that the mission of the Church in England might be seen anew because of Our Lady's presence there. We are seeing this already, especially during August, when the great Festivals of Faith take place on the fields opposite the Slipper Chapel; "New Dawn", "Youth 2000" and other huge groups come there because She is there.

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