In his Advent Volume, Dom Gueranger tells us in which provinces the Feast of the Translation of the Holy House of Loretto had an official place on their liturgical Calendars. The list reads like a roll-call of mysterious Southern Europe; those holiday lands where, in the exciting decades just before I was born, Englishmen dived in deep seas and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern Merchants or Wallis Simpson;
... the Papal States; Tuscany; the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; Spain ...
To these haunting lands, my researches can add the mysterious fastnesses of, um, the English R C diocese of Middlesbrough. I wonder how this festival made its way onto that Victorian Calendar.
Does the Mayor of Middlesbrough still sail out each year to renew his Espousal to the River Tees?
And why does my computer reveal that the Loretto liturgical commemoration is now, no longer, apparently, observed in South Yorkshire? Why did they drop it?
Odd, isn't it? Especially now that PF and Uncle Arffur's merry men have reintroduced (optionally) the memoria into the Novus Ordo.
Ee ... ye'd've thought the burghers of all the ridings of Yorkshire would be fighting to get their hands on this commemoration.