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All About Mary

Walsingham Shrine, England

Q: Can you tell me about the Marian shrine at Walsingham, England?

A: The Marian Shrine of Walsingham originated in the eleventh century and was the most important site of pilgrimage in medieval England. In 1897, a church was built at King's Lynn, and a statue of Mary, similar to the medieval one, was installed. In the same year, a pilgrimage was organized, the first since the Reformation. Today the main sanctuary is Anglican, containing an Orthodox chapel inaugurated by the Russian Orthodox bishop in Paris in the 1930s. A short distance away is the small Gothic chapel that survived the destruction of the monasteries, the Chapel of the Slipper, which is now the Catholic shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

"Thus Walsingham has become an ecumenical place of pilgrimage where members of the diverse churches may, in their very division, experience unity as they praise the works of God in the mother of Christ, a model of faith and love for the whole Christian community and for every believer." Martin Gillet (1902-1980), founder of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, did much to promote the restoration of the shrine.

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