Each Friday in October, we travel as virtual pilgrims to a particular Marian Shrine in England and Wales.
October is a month dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. The rosary is integral to the spiritual life of many Catholics in our countries and, if we deepen our understanding of the foundations of our rosary prayers, we can, in turn, deepen our devotion to Mary, the Mother of God.
To celebrate the Most Holy Rosary, we’re looking at four pilgrimage sites dedicated to Our Lady. Each Friday in October, we’ll travel as virtual pilgrims to a particular Marian Shrine in England and Wales. A shrine is a church, chapel, or other sacred place visited by the faithful as pilgrims with a special devotion.
Not only this, each week we’ll provide background information, links to resources and more.
Devotion to Mary has always been at the heart of our life and worship. Since medieval times in England and Wales, there has been a long-standing practice to pray the ‘Hail Mary’ at Mass after the last intercession of the Prayers of the Faithful. This seems particularly appropriate during the months of May and October, and for the key Marian Feasts.
It’s a good time to remember that Mary’s ‘yes’ changed the world. At the Annunciation, Mary said ‘yes’ to the Angel Gabriel, who asked her to give birth to God’s son, freely accepting God’s will in her life.
In March 2020, Catholics and other Christians across England took part in the re-dedication of the country to the Virgin Mary. The original dedication took place in 1381, when King Richard II made a series of ‘entrustment vows’ at Westminster Abbey on the feast of Corpus Christi. The country was in a period of turmoil and the 14-year-old King turned to the Virgin Mary for protection.
As we again turn to Our Lady on Friday, 7 October for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, let’s arrive at the door of our first Marian Shrine – The Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Taper, designated as the Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1986.