Yesterday, we went to the Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (for more details see St. Augustines Blog) One of the many blessings of going to the event is the opportunity to see friends especially those that you haven’t seen for some time. It was bitterly cold in the morning and early afternoon and not at all like a late May holiday. I’ve been on these in the past where it has been scorching hot and I’ve got sunburnt – no chance of that yesterday! (I’ve also been when I’ve been drenched to the skin).
It seemed to me that there were more priests than last year although I also thought the total number there seemed slightly less than previously. We were a little surprised when we discovered that the price of car parking had risen from £1 to £3.50 in a year; I thought the inflated price way over the top!
The Protestant Protest Group were there as usual but I think they were a bit flummoxed when we joined in the hymn they were singing as part of their protest. I always enjoy going to Walsingham for the National but enjoy even more going on a parish or private pilgrimage. There is a great deal of spirituality about the Shrine and I like being able to say the Divine office in the peace and quiet of the Shrine Church and saying Mass in one of the chapels.
There is something very special about this Holy Place and I always return home feeling spiritually refreshed. I think it is the very closeness one feels to Our Lady and to her Holy Child which draws one back year after year.