By Józef Łopuszyński
On Saturday 16th September, the Oratories made a Pilgrimage to Walsingham, at which a Solemn High Mass was celebrated in the Tridentine Rite.
The Celebrant was Father Edward van den Bergh of Brompton Oratory, and the homilist was Father Richard Duncan from Birmingham Oratory.
After the Holy Mass, the pilgrims sang hymns to Our Lady, and prayed the Rosary as they processed along the Holy Mile (1.3 miles) from the Roman Catholic Minor Basilica to the spot where the original House of Nazareth replica had stood until its destruction.
It was in 1061 that Our Lady appeared to Richeldis in visions, and showed her the house where the Annunciation had taken place, requesting that a replica be made in Walsingham.
By 1153 the Augustinian Priory of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was established next to the holy house, and by the 1500s there were so many visitors to the shrine, that a chapel was built enclosing the little house
At the time of the Reformation, the nearby friary and priory were dissolved, leaving nothing of the replica.
However, the spot where it stood is marked with a sign, and it is at this place that the procession ended, and special prayers were offered up led by Father Rupert McHardy.
“Our Lady, God’s Mother, in glory arrayed
held a house in her arms which was clearly displayed:
Take note, my dear daughter, and build here a shrine
as Nazareth’s home in this country of thine.”
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