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Pilgrims gather at shrine

Second national Divine Mercy Pilgrimage took place in Walsingham on Saturday

By on Thursday, 23 June 2011

Pilgrims walk the Holy Mile at Walsingham                                (Photo: Antonia Moffat)

Pilgrims walk the Holy Mile at Walsingham (Photo: Antonia Moffat)

The second national Divine Mercy Pilgrimage took place in Walsingham on Saturday June 4.
The pilgrimage was led by Mgr Keith Barltrop and Fr Andrew Gowkielewicz.

Describing the occasion pilgrim Antonia Moffat said: “Once again we gathered in the hallowed grounds of the ancient priory in Walsingham bathed in glorious sunshine and gentle breeze. This was the site chosen by Our Lady in 1061 when she appeared to Richeldis and asked that a replica of the holy house of Nazareth be built as a perpetual memorial of the Annunciation – the very first of her Joys – ‘You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must call him Jesus’ (Lk 1:2).

“This year in Walsingham we celebrate the 950th Jubilee Year of Our Lady’s apparition and the foundation of her shrine. The Priory Arch which once solemnly overlooked the high altar where Mass was once celebrated, stands desolate, weeping and alone, as if waiting for better days, when once again Our Lady’s shrine might be restored to its rightful and chosen place.

“It was for this that our pilgrims prayed as we began our second National Divine Mercy Pilgrimage with a special Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI. The image of the Divine Mercy was solemnly blessed and then on the hallowed spot the Blessed Sacrament was enthroned to great love and gentle praise from pilgrims present.

Mgr Barltrop led us in prayers of adoration and reparation.

“We are aware of the great need for reparation in these priory grounds to place before Divine Mercy the tragedy of the destruction and divisions of the Reformation which leave God’s Church disunified and hence weakened to this day. Here in Walsingham there is a special calling to implore God’s mercy for the healing of the wounds of history. Intense silent prayer followed for some time and some placed their foreheads on the ground in penance and sorrow. It is in the silence that God speaks and in these silent moments he touched deeply our hearts.

“The praying of the Act of Consecration of the Church and our world to the Sorrowful and immaculate Heart of Mary on this hallowed spot was a moment of intense emotion and spiritual significance.”