more Papal Coronations
By MARTIN GILLETT
IWO years have passed since the publication in THE CATHOLIC HERALD of the Map of the Shrines of Our Lady in England and Wales. In those two years have occurred all the events of Our Lady's glorious years in which England was privileged to witness no less than four Coronations of Our Lady in the name of the Holy Father: more, one believes, than in any other country. And since then other busy months have followed which will surely leave their mark on any future Map. It will. then, be interesting to look back at 1951 and to compare it with to-day's conditions. First, three of the shrines marked on the Map have been honoured with "Papal Coronation " and a fourth likewise honoured must he added. On the Feast of the Assumption, 1954, Archbishop O'Hara. Apostolic Delegate, crowned Our I,ady of Walsingham with a truly regal diadem of pure gold richly encrusted with gems. This was done by virtue of a personal Brief of His Holiness, in the presence of a great crowd, in the precincts of England's Nazareth. Two months later, Cardinal Griffin, in the presence of some 90.000 people, crowned Our Lady of Willesden, whose statue was then borne through crowded streets hy a large escort of men, back to her North London shrine.
December 8, the last day of Our Lady's Year, was marked by two other such coronations—one by the Cardinal, who crowned Our Lady of Warwick Street, London. the other by Bishop Cowderoy of Southwark, who crowned Our Lady of St. George's in his proCathedral.
STATUE WITHOUT A SHRINE
oUR Lady of Warwick Street, in one of London's oldest Catholic churches, within a few yards of Piccadilly Circus, is well-known. The statue is an early representation of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal which was given to the church nearly 100 years ago by the then rector, the Hon. Mgr. Talbot.
Our Lady of St. George's was not " on the Map "; it must be the only statue thus to have been honoured with crowning which has no shrine. It was certainly the first to have been introduced into any church in the London region for public veneration since the days of the Titus Oates' affair, in the days when the vast district called Southwark was served only by the London Road Chapel, built in 1825.
The statue is a lovely and poignant memorial to Fr. Thomas Doyle and to those valiant, heroic days which made possible the building of Sc. George's Cathedral. When that Cathedral is rebuilt, one may be sure that Our Lady's crowned statue will be given a very special place of honour. This will be a shrine for a future map.
A STATUE FOR GLASTONBURY
ALMOSAwherever T wherev one looks, there are changes to be recorded; in only one instance a loss. Within a day or two of the publication of the Map, Franciscan nuns moved away from Taunton, taking with them their historic statuette which they had brought with thern from Princenhoff. to Winchester in 1794, and to Taunton in 1807.
But Glastonbury, a few miles away, has now been given its superb and permanent statue, carved by Philip Lindsey Clark, which was canonically erected in the Shrine of Our Lady of Glastonbury in the presence of the Apostolic Delegate in July 1955.
Lanheren, too, can report progress, from the Cornish shrine near Newquay, in that the Bishop of the diocese has honoured it, even older than the shrine which was at Taunton, with indulgenced prayers. A really beautiful coloured prayer card is now available from the Carmelite Convent.
BY THE BELLS OF CALDEY
THE Archbishop of Cardiff anticipated Mary Year with the solemn blessing of a majestic stone statue of Our Lady of Penrhys, raised aloft on the site of the original pre-Reformation shrine; the only case where the actual site of one of Our Lady's great pre-Reformation shrines in this island has come track into diocesan ownership, At Prinknash Abbey the statue said to have been St. Thomas More's—there is no doubt that this was a family tradition of the previous owners—has been moved, for summer months at least, to an outdoor shrine. Now the greatest possible number of the faithful may have access to it, to offer their prayers. Our Lady of Prinknash now has her " little house " close beside the Celtics, hells, ready to greet all who may come that way. Abingdon. too, has to change the little black cross, which denoted a shrine no longer functioning, into one of the more hospitable little candles. Art ancient statue of Our Lady, near replica of that shown on one of the abbey seals, had been found built into a wall. It was sadly mutilated but seems certainly to have belonged to Our Lady's Abbey of Abingdon. It has been beautifully repaired. and Archbishop King has enshrined it as Our Lady of Abingdon in the pretty church in Radley Road. Archbishop King was able to add another shrine to the list. In May. 1954, His Grace inaugurated the Shrine of Our Lady of Farnborough, enthroning a statue carved by Mr. Leo Dapre. thus renewing an ancient local devotion. UP by the Potteries, Stone has seen the fulfilment of a prophecy by Mother Margaret Hallahan, who foresaw the day when Our Lady of Stone would be set upon a mountain as a beacon.
As there was no mountain handy, the Dominican nuns have built one; and now Our Lady's statue reigns thereon in a pagoda-like shrine.
At Doncaster important steps have been taken. It is clear now that nearly 100 years ago Fr. Pearson intended the Lady Chapel he made there to be a shrine of reparation, to continue the ancient devotion of Our Lady of Doncaster. The remarkable statue was carved especially by Phyffer. Now the shrine is officially recognised by Bishop Heenan of Leeds, who has written a prayer in Our Lady's honour. And the Salve Regina is sung at the shrine after every evening service.
But there must have been something prophetic about the Map. Not only Abingdon but three other shrines, marked with black crosses. now witness revival; and another, marked with a candle " by mistake," that of Axholme, took immediate steps to rectify matters in the best way possible.
Axholme is in the parish of Crowle, served by the White Canons and by Fr. Kerrigan in particular. As soon as the mistake was noticed—for. in 1953, there was no shrine there—Mass was said in honour of Our Lady of Axholrne, and invocations began daily to he addressed to her in the church at Crowle.
Research has pressed on and it won't he long, one feels, before something very definite takes place in this somewhat remote corner of Lincolnshire. As for the others, they are Cardigan, Caversham and Westminster.
A CANDLE FOR CAVERSHAM
OF Our Lady of Westminster much has
been written of late; of the rare
alabaster statue which has come so generously back into Catholic use at the very outset of the Cardinal's appeal for the cornpletion of the Cathedral.
The Map showed Our Lady of Pewe of Westminster. The new shrine has the function of carrying on into the future all that the ancient shrine meant to our Catholic forefathers long ago. Caversham really deserved to be marked with a candle after all. The late Fr. Williams did intend Our Lady of Caversham to be remembered in the fine Church of Our Lady and St. Anne of which be was so long parish priest.
Our Lady's Year brought forth a booklet on the history of the shrine which encouraged a number of pil
grims. It is interesting to know how many of them have come back a second time. They say how happily their prayers in the previous year were answered.
Now great things are afoot. A glorious 15th-century statue of Lady has been obtained and blessed, and this will soon he enshrined in a new Lady Chapel worthy of the historic traditions of Caversham.
Finally there is Our Lady of the Taper, of Cardigan. Once Welsh Catholics realised the significance of their former sanctuary, they determined to do something about it. As their Mary Year effort they decided to give Our Lady her shrine back again. Dorn Vincent Dapre, of Farnborough Abbey. was commissioned to carve the new figure and to complete it with a real taper in Our Lady's right hand. The statue was recently blessed in Westminster Cathedral and after a tour of Wales is to be enshrined at Cardigan.
Thus Wales has been given hack her two most famous ancient shrines of Our Lady.
TNDEED, the Map marked an epoch. A pioneer effort which earned the gratitude of countless people for THF CATHOLIC: HERA] 13 at the time. it was a source of joy and wonder to many, and of some discomfort to the few who tried to use it as a cyclists' guide. It was itself a milestone in the history of English devotion to Our Lady. Now one looks rather impatiently at some others of the little black crosses; at those for Ipswich and Jesmond, Isiskeard and Worcester. for example, and prays that there too old memories may begin to stir and that new devotion may be fanned into ardent flame.