The theme of the first national Pilgrimage of Divine Mercy to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham on Saturday, June 5, was 'Tell the Whole World about My Mercy', writes Antonia Moffat

Around 1,500 pilgrims arrived at the village of Walsingham in Norfolk.

The day began with songs of praise and the enthronement of the Divine Mercy image.

A special intention was to pray for the forthcoming papal visit and a special union of prayer was extended to the Holy Father.

Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed during which pilgrims prayed intently in silence.

Mgr Keith Barltrop, national co-ordinator for Divine Mercy in Britain, then gave a talk on “God’s Mercy, Help of the World”, drawing people’s attention to trust in God’s mercy and to proclaim it by the witness of our lives.

He spoke of the need for a renewed commitment to serious prayer and fasting and exhorted the pilgrims to be part of a national movement to spread the fire of God’s mercy throughout the British Isles.

Then the solemn silent procession of the Blessed Sacrament wended its way from the abbey grounds, up the Martyrs’ Way, and along the Pilgrims’ Way through the fields to the national shrine. Upon arrival at the shrine the chaplet of Divine Mercy was sung.

The pilgrimage culminated with the celebration of Mass presided over by Fr Wojtek Jasinski MIC.

Fr Laurie Locke preached a moving homily in which he humbly spoke of how God’s mercy had enveloped his own priestly life and of the transforming impact of the Divine Mercy devotion in his own parish community.

Before the final blessing all the concelebrating priests came before the Divine Mercy image and led the congregation in a solemn entrustment of the Church and our countries to the Divine Mercy.