With the spread of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter1 in North America it is no surprise that “Latin” Roman Catholics are becoming more exposed to the title of Mary as Our Lady of Walsingham. The title comes from the appearance of the Holy Mother to an English noblewoman in 1061 in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England. Walsingham became a popular pilgrimage destination for both Catholics and Anglicans in England. The affection for Our Lady of Walsingham is naturally strong among the Anglicans who have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate. That is true in the case of the Fellowship of Saint Alban2 which is the presence of the Ordinariate right here in the Rochester Diocese.
Anyway, I thought folks not too familiar with Our Lady of Walsingham might appreciate a post on the topic.
The Fellowship of Saint Alban has a nice summary on its website’s homepage.
The appearance of Our Lady of Walsingham is one of the earliest Marian apparitions in history. Richeldis de Faverches, a noble widow living in Norfolk during the reign of Edward the Confessor, petitioned the Blessed Virgin to inspire her to a notable work of charity. In answer, Our Lady gave her a vision, taking Richeldis to the house in Nazareth where the Annunciation occurred. She instructed her to build a replica in Walsingham to commemorate Mary’s joy at the Angelic Salutation of Gabriel, the heralding of the Incarnation.
The Holy House became a shrine, a place of pilgrimage and miracles. Ballads were penned in praise of Our Lady of Walsingham, and many kings made pilgrimage there. This included… (Read more here - scroll down when you get there)
1 Catholics of Anglican heritage. The Ordinariate was established following the publishing of Anglicanorum Coetibus an Apostolic Constitution that allowed for Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church with their Anglican liturgical tradition. The Ordinariate is under the protection of Our Lady of Walsingham
2 The Fellowship of Saint Alban is devoted to the liturgical practice of the Anglican Use Liturgy in the Catholic Church. Mass is at 3pm on Sundays at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Henrietta. Directions can be found here.