Richard Challoner School

Why Walsingham is important to Catholics

"The Catholic shrines in the United Kingdom have been through a lot.

In the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation that struck England in the 16th century, many of its shrines were torn down, religious houses were vacated, and monastery properties were appropriated by the crown. Catholic priests and the laymen who sheltered them were hunted down and killed. Statues of Our Lady were taken and burnt.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham is a story of survival and resurrection. It was originally built in 1061 by a devout lady named Richeldis de Faverches. Our Lady inspired her to create a shrine in Walsingham based on the Holy House of Nazareth, where the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place.

This shrine became the center of pilgrimage for English Catholics during the Middle Ages—indeed, it became one of the greatest shrines in Catholic Europe."

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Photo by Wim van 't Einde on Unsplash