Page 11, 29th August 2008

29th August 2008
Page 11
Page 11, 29th August 2008 — Catholic prayers helped England to fulfil her Marian role in 1940

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Catholic prayers helped England to fulfil her Marian role in 1940

From Mr Michael Protheroe SIR Thank you for the excellent article by Edmund Matyjaszek on Our Lady's Dowry (Comment, August 15).

Some details were not quite correct: Westminster Abbey was rebuilt, not founded, under Edward the Confessor, and scholars think that the Shrine of Walsingham could not have originated before the early 12tkcentury, even though it seems unlikely that the traditional date of 1061 will ever be dropped.

However, I found the article illuminating and persuasive. Indeed, to his suggestion that England performed her Marian role "supremely in 1940-, might one add that the critical turning point in the Battle of Britain was apparently on August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption. I wonder how many rosaries were being offered up at that "solemn hour", for "the cause of freedom", by Catholic families once persecuted by the British state for their fidelity to the Faith.

Perhaps it is not coincidental that the first church in this country traditionally believed to have been dedicated to Mary, and thus her earliest shrine at Glastonburywas said to have been built in honour of her glorious Assumption. The present shrine church of Our Lady St Mary of Glastonbury erected during the first year of World War Two, and opened a few weeks after the miracle of the Dunkirk evacuation was designed unusually with a western sanctuary. Now, when Holy Mass is celebrated versus populum, the priest is also facing ad orientem.

While touching on this sensitive matter might I share a thought? What a blessing it would be if the Holy Father were also to encourage our pastors to make the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin more available in the parishes of our land. This would surely help more of the faithful to realise what both Pope Benedict and liturgical traditionalists like Eveline Booth (Report, August 15) desire for the Church, and especially so if Eucharistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon) is used. This is the obvious point of "convergence" and continuity between the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the one Roman rite.

Yours faithfully, MICHAEL PROTHEROE Glastonbury, Somerset

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