They prayed by candle-light and lanterns-for unity
A CONSTANT battery of prayer for Christian Unity ..rose and fell throughout the long night on the vigil of the national pilgrimage to Walsingham at the week-end when 155 pilgrims-50 more than last year and one-third of them young menrecited one rosary after another in the
Slipper Chapel field.
The night was pitch blackthe only light coming from the heartshaped blaze of candles round the statue of Our Lady on the open air altar and a few scattered lanterns.
The vigil pilgrims left West minster Cathedral by coach at 6 o'clock on Saturday evening and the rosaries began on the journey with 15 Mysteries for the achievement of Christian Unity through the Catholic Press.
It was due to the Press, says the Hon. Mrs. Henrietta Bower, the vigil organiser, that the vigil pilgrims had been gathered together, from London. Gloucestershire, Oxford, Southampton, Scotland and other areas.
Arriving at Walsingham at 10 p.m., the vigil pilgrims walked in torchlight procession to the Slipper
Chapel field with their chaplain, Fr. Edmund Jones, the Olivetan
Benedictine rector of Cockfosters -a former Anglican-who preached and gave hourly meditations during the night.
He spoke of the various aspects of Christian Unity, linking the wide range of rosary intentions covering Jews, Moslems, Pagans, members of the Orthodox Churches and others. At least one-third of those attending the vigil, said Mrs. Bower, took no rest at all until the rosaries stopped at 7 o'clock on Sunday morning.
The vigil pilgrims joined the National Pilgrimage on Sunday morning. Some 3,000 people came, mainly from the Northhampton diocese, hut also from Sunderland, Durham and districts in various parts of the country.
Outstandingly courageous were the pilgrims who drove by coach from the Pax Romana Congress at Nottingham. getting up very early after several days of lectures, debates and discussions, so as to arrive at Walsingham by 8 o'clock in the morning.
There were two Masses at 5 o'clock and 6 o'clock, and Bishop Parker celebrated Pontifical High Mass at 11.30 a.m., which he offered for the Christian Unity intention, thus making it the focal point of the national pilgrimage. For Our Lady, he told the pilgrims, would dissolve all heresies.
A procession to the Slipper Chapel in the afternoon followed by Pontifical Benediction brought the pilgrimage to a close at 4.30 p.m.