La Madonna Inglese (the English Madonna), an image of Our Lady not unlike that of Our Lady of Walsingham and which our soldiers have sten at NFttuno; Italy, is described by a writer in America_
From Rome. in peace-time, the story goes. the English pilgrims and priests would come, many from the English College at Via Monserrato, to say Holy Mass at her feet for the conversion of England.
The English speaking pilgrims would pray in their native tongue, and some say that.. when she hears the Hail Mary, the Hall, Holy Queen the old hymns. her eyelids flicker ever so slightly and a Mar smile steals over her gentle, queen. like face.
The Italians realise their English Madonna likes to hear her native tongue, never fearing, however, that she will leave them to return to her own land.
The church where the image is venerated is quite near the sea. and devout sailors three centuries ago, so the inhabitants say, brought the statue from England to save it from the fury of Queen Bess's persecution.
This Madonna is quite different from the Italian ones: she sits in a highbacked chair, not unlike Our Lady of Walsingham, so much so that, for a time. it was thought that this was the lost statue of that famous shrine; but it was definitely established that this was not so, and no clue has been found to reveal its origin in England.
This large polychrome statue, beautifully decorated and coloured, came certainly from a lady-chapel in some great cathedral or abbey. She is long and slender, with a slim neck and typically northern face, and the Divine Infant on her lap is also long and thin. quite unlike the chubby Bambinos dear 10 Italian artists.
Her church, served by the Passionists, is covered with ex-votos, in recognition of the numberless graces and favours she has bestowed on her chosen children. who have never forgotten how she came, and whence she came, from faraway. England, where they are all Protestant—poveretrf 1—and have banished their Queen.