I have been moved by the appreciative comments that have reached me!
The first three 'pilgrimages' are to Glastonbury, Canterbury, and York. On Monday May 4 ('Our Lady of Westminster'), I will print those for the rest of the month.
These are all Medieval English Shrines. Information about them is in the Waterton volume which a kind reader has attached to this thread.
Since we are Locked Down, or de facto under Interdict, or however you like to put it, I venture to suggest Spiritual Pilgrimages to Shrines of the Theotokos during May. One could use the Litany of Loretto and/or the Prayer at the foot of this post.
This idea is offered in a little book which used to be on sale in the Shrine Shop at Walsingham. It bears the name of Canon Colin Stepheson, Administrator of the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham in the early 1960s. "This book is based on an idea of Edmund Waterton, and owes much to his monumental work Pietas Mariana Britannica. Its adaptation and much of the work of compilation has been done by Hedley Hope-Nicholson who has always been a doughty champion of the rights and titles of our blessed Lady". The book bears no date; I bought mine on Whitmonday 1963. The prayer suggested and which I print below dates from before the liturgical adoption of "Modern English"!
Each day of May is assigned a medieval English Shrine of our Lady. One could, of course, roam all over the world ... Keitun .... Lourdes ... Tinos ... Knock ... but, well, we have recently rededicated this Kingdom to our Lady as her Dowry. If I remember, I will put the place/title at the head of my blogpost each day in May.
O most Blessed Virgin Mother of God, conceived without original sin, in mind and spirit I visit thy churches, altars, and shrines, venerated by our forefathers in this land once acknowledged as thy Dowry, but more especially today I wish to place myself before thy Shrine at ... ... ... , humbly seeking to be numbered amongst the pilgrims who have sought thee in this place and to receive through thy prayers those graces which have ever flowed from thy Sanctuaries.
29 April 2020
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As one who was hoping to be en route to Santiago, but instead of having been walking for over a week already find myself at home in Tasmania, with both State and Commonwealth borders closed and no prospect of their reopening in sight, may I thank you for this sterling suggestion; for "when all other hope faileth, Mary helpeth", as I once read somewhere...
I apologise again for not being able to pay you a visit in Oxford in June, but unfortunately the pandemic has put paid to my plans.
Ah, I remember that little book so very well.
During various house moves, mine is now lost.
I look forward to accompanying you upon the May Pilgrimage.
Is there a list of those shrines available?
Edmund Waterton's Pietas Mariana Britannica is available as a scanned download from archive.org.
Many people indeed are very grateful for this lovely suggestion. It will, I hope, be widely promoted. I notice that Waterton may be acquired in a modern 'on demand' reprint thrown the usual channels, though not inexpensively.
A shame that the old little Walsingham Pilgrim Manual and booklets as yours are now quite unavailable. Each subsequent edition managed to lose something once valued. Might you, dear Father, be willing to scan a copy for sharing on the Internet?
Come to Glastonbury! Spiritually at the moment anyway... the whole world is most welcome.
The Bishop set up a traditional Benedictine Community (the Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury) just last August. We need prayers.
Shameless plug if you'll allow me...
An excellent initiative.
I have publicised it on my own blog to help spread news of this.
Feeling that one can travel in mind and spirit, if not in the flesh, to these graced places is a good thing in these strange times.
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