year's pilgrimage in honour of Blessed Cuthbert Mayne at Launceston, Cornwall, to be held under cover on Sunday for the first time in its history of 33
Normally the pilgrims assemble on the Castle Green and then walk in procession through the streets on the way along which the ProtoMartyr of the English Seminaries was in 1577 dragged to his execution in the Market Place.
Just before the start of the ceremony a large tree fell and blocked the road along which the pilgrims would have been walking-had the weather been diffetent.
Pilgrims crowding in the large Town Hall and overflowing into the adjacent drill 'hall heard over loudspeakers a 4elegram from Cardinal (iriffin sending them a special blessing and concluded: "May devotion to Blessed Cuthbert Mayne increase."
Archbishop Masterson of Birmingham also sent a telegram of goad wishes as he was prevented from attending by his recent operation.
Bishop Grimshaw, of Plymouth, addressing the large congregation, said that Cuthbert Mayne was a West countryman who was brought up a non-Catholic and became a minister of the Established Religion. Then. at Oxford he came under the influence of a group of young men and of Edmund Campion in particular. He followed where they led.
He left England. He was received into the Catholic Church. He was trained. And at length he was ordained and returned to England as a priest.
He worked unmolested, though secretly, for a brief space of time. He was arrested at the house of Francis Tregian. He was brought to Launceston, tried, condemned and executed as a traitor, "just as men in Europe have been executed as traitors, within the lifetime of the youngest of us here, for maintaining their right to freedom of conscience.
"It must go very hard with the defence of liberty of soul,* said Bishop Grimshaw, "if the ruling power can usurp control of conscience and made it treason to disobey, and have their usurpation accepted by otherwise honest men.
"In days like ours, it should be easy enough to deny that Cuthbert Mayne was a traitor."
The Bishop continued : "We are here today because Cuthbert Mayne realised that he was a priest, not for his own comfort and consolation but for the people of God."
"At every stage in his career. it would have been not only possible, but easy, and materially quite attractive to retrace his steps.
"Any who were weak enough to submit, and there were some, found a quick pardon and a ready welcome. Let those disagree with him who feel they must. At least let them acknowledge that he was a very brave man.
"But having admitted that, could they not be invited to go further? What if they could discover for themselves the treasure hidden from their eyes by the prejudice of centuries!
"Is it possible that the unity of the Church in this country which was broken under Elizabeth the first may be mended under Elizabeth the second?"
After the sermon, prayers were said for the conversion of England and the Canonisation of Blessed Cuthbert.
Bishop Rudderham of Clifton blessed the assembly with a relic of the martyr-a portion of his skull, still bearing the mark of a pike, which had been brought from its resting-place in the Carmelite Convent at Lanherne.
Afterwards more than 2,000 pilgrims took an hour to pass the relic in an act of veneration, each stooping to kiss the glass dome of the casket in which it is preserved.
Benediction was given by Fr. E. Carey. of Saltash, organiser of the pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage to Evesham on August 16 will end this year with Benediction on the site of the abbey --now in a public park-where the apparition of Our Lady took place. Previously those taking part had to return for Benediction to the tiny church at the other end of the town.