Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Our Lady of Walsingham

The last day of the spiritual Marian Pilgrimage brings the virtual traveler to the most famous of all the medieval English shrines of Our Lady, the one that has been so triumphantly restored in the twentieth century and which in the twenty-first looks with confidence to the future in a rededicated Dowry of Mary - the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

I rather wonder if Edmund Waterton, writing in 1879, could have envisaged so successful a renewal of devotion to Our Lady in the countryside of west Norfolk, or that it should come about in the way that it did. That is a remarkable and graced story.

Waterton’s extensive notes on the medieval Shrine are a rich source of information about its history and he cites material I do not recall seeing in more recent works on the history of Walsingham. Waterton was also keen to set at rest false interpretations about it and pilgrimage in general. I do appreciate the fact that he has plenty to say that is critical of that over-rated, tiresome and painful liberal Erasmus and his attitude to Walsingham - useful as I must admit his account is of what the layout of the Holy House was. These pages can be viewed at waterton1 and by following the page links at the end they can be consulted in extenso. Following on from it is at least part of J.C.Dickinson’s 1956 history The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us

No comments: