On Saturday 13 May, Archdiocesan pilgrims made their way to Walsingham, England’s Nazareth and the national shrine for Our Lady.

Pilgrims gathered at the Catholic shrine and Mass was celebrated by Bishop David Evans in the Chapel of Reconcilation.

The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham was established around 1061 when, according to the text of the Pynson Ballad (c 1485), Richeldis de Faverches prayed that she might undertake some special work in honour of Our Lady.

“Our Lady led Richeldis in spirit to Nazareth and showed her the house where the angel had greeted her. ‘Look, daughter’ said Our Lady. ‘Take the measurements of this house and erect another one like it in Walsingham, dedicated to praising and honouring me. All who come there shall find help in their need.

‘It shall be a perpetual memorial to the great joy of the Annunciation, ground and origin of all my joys and the root of humanity’s gracious Redemption. This came about through Gabriel’s message that I would be a mother through my humility, and conceive God’s Son in virginity.”  (Pynson Ballad 1485)

The original shrine was destroyed in the Reformation, but in 1896 Charlotte Pearson Boyd purchased the 14th century Slipper Chapel, the last of the wayside chapels en-route to Walsingham and restored it for Catholic use. It was declared the National Shrine of Our Lady for Catholics in England in 1934.It is important as it is a shrine of the annunciation and the incarnation.

We come to Walsingham to unite ourselves spiritually with all those pilgrims who for a thousand years have come to honour Our Lady and ask for her prayers for the Church. We ask Mary to bring us closer to her blessed son.

After the Mass, pilgrims walked the Pilgrims’ Mile in peace through the Norfolk countryside, silently praying the rosary.

The pilgrimage concluded at the ruins of the Abbey where the original shrine stood, reflecting, singing and praying together.

Walsingham: The National Catholic Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady

Diocesan pilgrimages

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Walsingham Pilgrimage 2023