On the weekend of March 28/29th there will be celebrations throughout England as, after nearly 500 years, the country is once again called the Dowry of our Blessed Lady. The title was lost at the Reformation when the holy shrine of Walsingham was desecrated. Today it is again a place of pilgrimage.
In the Middle Ages there were just four places where Christians Would go on pilgrimage: Rome, the Holy Land, Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Walsingham in Norfolk. Many pilgrims from far and wide travelled to the village of Walsingham, where a replica of Our Lady’s home at Nazareth existed. Kings and nobles along with ordinary people made their way there for many centuries and England was known as the Dowry of Our Lady.
Then came the horror of the Reformation. In 1538 the priory was destroyed, our Lady’s statue was dragged through the streets and eventually burned, the whole area was desecrated.
This March 2020, almost 500 years later, Walsingham is to be rededicated as the Dowry of Our Lady.