By Andrew Boyle
IN what must go on the record as undoubtedly the greatest pilgrim-1age since the Reformation to Launceston's national shrine of Blessed Cuthbert Mayne, 7,000 Wesi Country Catholics heard Cardinal Griffin announce last Sunday that his own recent recovery in health has been at least partly due to the intercession of the Cornish martyr. "Whilst we must not in any way anticipate the official decisions of the Holy See," His Eminence declared, "I can tell you that it is the earnest wish of the Hierarchy of England and Wales that the Cause of Blessed Cuthbert Mayne should he presented to Rome so that his canonisation may be considered."
The huge crowd of pilgrims—from many parts of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, and some from as far away as Bristol—was hushed as the Cardinal thus set the seal of his public approval on a rapidly spreading popular devotion. For, as the Very Rev. Charles White, C.R.L., parish priest of Launceston, told me later: "There's abundant evidence in these parts of a tremendous growth in devotion to Blessed Cuthbert Mayne."
A steady drizzle, which had fallen
all morning, lifted for the afternoon's impressive open-air service, held on the green of the huge Norman castle, the "Castle Terrible" of penal days. in which the local beams had once been imprisoned. Many non-Catholic onlookers stood silent and thoughtful as 7,000 voices took up the unaccompanied singing of the Credo.
Many more lined the streets later, when the procession of men. women w
and children wound its way along the route which the martyr had taken to the town's Market Square where he met his bloody death. The sombre yet glorious history of that death, and of the circumstances to
which led up it, were recounted by the Cardinal during his address. Then it was that the Cardinal mentioned the Cause of Blessed Cuthbert.
He praised the annual pilgrimages to Launceston as having "done much to keep alive in the West Country the memory of a great West Countryman." And he went on to state what was necessary for the martyr's cause to go forward to Rome for consideration.
"Before this can happen it must be shown that, through his intercession, at least three miracles should have been granted. For these must ray, but we may face the
st p we m
future with confidence in the knowledge that during the past few years, through the intercession of Blessed Cuthbert, a number of marvellous favours have been granted. "Medical evidence of these favours has been collected, and once we can confidently claim the granting of three wonderful cures, we shall not hesitate in presenting his cause to Rome." The Cardinal next referred to his own happy experience of the martyr's power. 'If T may introduce a personal note at this stage," he said, "I would tell you of my own great devotion and my own indebtedness to Blessed Cuthbert. "You will know that in the past few years I have not enjoyed good health, and just a year ago I was in the West Country recuperating from a serious illness, Your Bishop was kind enough to bring to me for a Continued on p. 6