NAZARETH IN NORFOLK
The 24th September - The Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, celebrates the request of Our Lady to Richeldis in 1061 to build a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth
in the place since-then called “England’s Nazareth”…so that all may share Her joy at the Annunciation, and that all who visit the Holy House might find help in their need.
The millions of pilgrims who have visited Walsingham including, of course, Henry VIII, and other Marian shrines in order to seek help in their need over the centuries,
is testimony to the one who will always lead us to her Son.
After the annunciation Mary went quickly to visit her cousin Elizabeth
to share with her the joy that was to be Mary’s…..and to proclaim the
Magnificat manifesto, her wish-list for a better world.
In that hope, Mary has never stopped visiting us in the hour of human need…..
Walsingham, Lourdes, Fatima, Knock and so many other places,
with words warning of imminent danger
and Godly advice to help in overcoming such trouble.
She visited England at Walsingham in 1061,
when the Norman Conquest was imminent.
She visited Medjugorje in 1981,
just ahead of the dreadful murderous strife in the Balkan states.
She visited Knock in 1879, when Ireland at its lowest ebb.
She visited Lourdes in 1858, with France imminently entering a crippling war;
She visited Fatima in 1917, and warned of the Russian revolution and the aftermath problems of a changing world after Word War One.
She appeared at Guadalupe in 1531, at the time of the atrocities of domination of the native peoples of Mexico, and Latin America.
And then - the Pandemic – Walsingham Holy House restored nearly a century ago (1922) a place where her prayers have been newly- invoked.
England’s Nazareth is still here; and now is the hour of our need.
Mary visits ahead of her Son, and constantly intercedes for us in our time.
Today’s feast reminds us to listen afresh with Mary to the words of
Gabriel, “Do not afraid Mary, for nothing is impossible for God”…
…and when we take them to heart, and say our “yes”,
we shall find the reassurance we need to hear at this time.
Mary of Walsingham,
recall the solemn moment when Jesus, your divine Son,
dying on the cross confided us to your maternal care.
You are our Mother; and we ask for your prayers in this time of trial.
Pray, O Holy Mother of God, for our nation and all nations,
the restoration of the sick, consolation for the afflicted,
repentance of those who work against God’s will,
and peace eternal to the departed.
O Blessed Mary, Mother of God,
Our Lady of Walsingham, intercede for us.