"A summer's evening: On the evening of July 6th, 1922, the bells in the quiet old Norfolk village of Walsingham rang out in a merry peal as a small procession carrying an image of ancient design moved into the church from the south porch, where it had just been hallowed by that much loved priest of the Catholic revival [in the Church of England] Father Alban Baverstock.
"A halt was made at the famous Seven Sacrament [sic] font, and the then Vicar of Holy Trinity, Reading, standing on the steps, delivered a stirring sermon on the significance of the event then taking place. At its conclusion the procession re-formed; girls carrying boughs of sweet-smelling syringa preceded the image and a small company of nine priests, followed by people of the village all singing happily in Our Lady's honour, accompanied by the still clashing bells and the pealing organ, proceeded to the Guilds' Chapel in the same church. And there, on a pillar, the statue was set up, looking towards the ruins of the old Augustinian Priory, to the north of which the original shrine of the Holy House once stood. The Rosary was said, and Devotions to the Blessed Sacrament concluded the simple yet moving ceremony.
"Our Lady of Walsingham had come back.
" --- [thereafter, prayer was offered daily] for the return of the Ecclesia Anglicana to union with the Holy See -- the ultimate aim of the Catholic revival in this land." (Father Hope Patten, 1954)
So, in a few months time, we shall have the centenary of the restoration in the village of Little Walsingham, under the auspices of leading members of the Anglican Papalist movement, of one of Europe's greatest pilgrimages.
I hope something will happen!
This coming Saturday, the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham will be on pilgrimage to England's Nazareth. Devout readers might wish to pray for them: here is part of a prayer used since the early days of the restoration.
Most holy Virgin! I prostrate myself in spirit before thy Shrine at Walsingham, that Sanctuary favoured by thy visits, favours, and many miracles. I unite myself with all those who have ever sought thee, and do now seek thee, in that holy place, and join my prayers with theirs. But especially I unite my intentions with the intentions of the Priests who offer the Holy Sacrifice upon thy Altar there. ...
Dear Mother, Our Lady of Walsingham, remember me.