OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM is England’s national Marian shrine. According to legend, Our Lady appeared in Walsingham to the Saxon noblewoman Richeldis de Faverches, in 1061. In three visions, Richeldis was taken by Mary to be shown the house in Nazareth where Gabriel had announced the news of the birth of Jesus. Mary then asked her to build an exact replica of that house in Walsingham. Throughout the centuries, Walsingham became one of the most popular shrines in Europe. Many pilgrims returned from their visit healed in body and spirit. Walsingham received visits from King Henry III, Edward II, Edward III, Henry IV, Edward IV, Henry VII and Henry VIII, who finally brought about its destruction in 1538. In 1897, the first official Catholic pilgrimage after the Reformation took place at the restored 14th century Slipper Chapel, which is now the centre of the Roman Catholic National Shrine. In the 1920s the Anglican shrine began growing in the remains of the original Priory and now has its own church, housing a copy of the original statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and a replica of the Holy House. There is also now a Russian Orthodox chapel in Walsingham. Walsingham came to be known as ‘England’s Nazareth’. During lockdown a small statue of Our Lady of Walsingham has been a focal point of our Marian devotion at St Patrick’s, and many have lit candles before this image of Our Lady. Mass will be celebrated at 12noon on Friday 24th, the feast day of Our Lady of Walsingham. Do come along and give thanks to Our Lady of Walsingham for blessings received.