About Our Lady of Walsingham

Our Lady of Walsingham

The appearance of Our Lady of Walsingham is one of the earliest Marian apparitions in history. Richeldis de Faverches, a noble widow living in Norfolk during the reign of Edward the Confessor, petitioned the Blessed Virgin to inspire her to a notable work of charity. In answer, Our Lady gave her a vision, taking Richeldis to the house in Nazareth where the Annunciation occurred. She instructed her to build a replica in Walsingham to commemorate Mary’s joy at the Angelic Salutation of Gabriel, the heralding of the Incarnation.

The Holy House became a shrine, a place of pilgrimage and miracles. Ballads were penned in praise of Our Lady of Walsingham, and many kings made pilgrimage there. This included Henry VIII, but after his break with the Church he ordered the shrine destroyed. This event too became the subject of ballads, now of lament. The place lay silent until the 1890s, when the ruins of the wayside Slipper Chapel were restored for Catholic use. Then in the 1930s, the Anglican Church built a new shrine and Catholic Slipper Chapel was declared the English National Shrine of Our Lady.

When the Word was made Flesh, the universality of God came into the particularity of a little house in the village of Nazareth. The Incarnation means that God meets us not in an abstracted existence, but directly, within the particular places and circumstances of our lives. As Our Lady guided Richeldis to make a Nazareth in England, every chapel and shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham is a particular, local Nazareth, an encounter with the joy of the Incarnation in that special place.

One such shrine is in Houston, TX, the Principal Church of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter: Our Lady of Walsingham.

Text courtesy of Ms. Mary MacArthur

Novena to Our Lady of Walsingham

Devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham is always centered on the Mystery of the Annunciation. It was at the Annunciation that Our Lady accepted God’s invitation to be the Mother of God, the Theotokos. She gave herself over to God’s will and conceived by the Holy Spirit. By this same Holy Spirit Mary always leads us to Jesus, and her prayers help us say “yes” to God’s will in our lives even as she did at the Annunciation.

¶ The Veni Creator Spiritus may precede the Novena devotions.

Veni Creator Spiritus

O come, Creator Spirit, come
And make within our souls thy home;
Supply thy grace and heav’nly aid
To fill the hearts which thou hast made.

O Gift of God, most high, thy name
Is Comforter; whom we acclaim
The fount of life, the fire of love,
The soul’s anointing from above.

The sev’nfold gift of grace is thine,
Thou finger of the hand divine;
The Father’s promise true, to teach
Our earthly tongues thy heav’nly speech.

Thy light to every sense impart;
Pour forth thy love in every heart;
Our weakened flesh do thou restore
To strength and courage evermore.

Drive far away our spirit’s foe,
Thine own abiding peace bestow;
If thou dost go before as guide,
No evil can our steps betide.

Through thee may we the Father learn,
And know the Son, and thee discern,
Who art of both; and thus adore
In perfect faith for evermore. Amen.

X In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.


Cardinal Mercier’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Written by him from the Holy Ghost Chapel in the Slipper Chapel
Walsingham, England

Holy Spirit, soul of my soul I adore you; enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me; tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in every-thing that you ask of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me, only show me what is your will. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

Ancient Walsingham Prayer

O alone of all women, Mother and Virgin, Mother most happy, Virgin most pure, now we sinful as we are, come to see thee who are all pure, we salute thee, we honour thee as how we may with our humble offerings; may thy Son grant us, that imitating thy most holy manners, we also, by the grace of the Holy Ghost may deserve spiritually to conceive the Lord Jesus in our inmost soul, and once conceived never to lose him. Amen.

¶ The Litany of Our Lady of Walsingham follows.

Litany of Our Lady of Walsingham
Mary Pray to the Lord for us.
Mary, without sin,
Mary, God’s Mother,
Mary the Virgin,
Mary taken to Heaven,

Mary at Bethlehem, Pray for all mothers
Mary at Nazareth, Pray for all families
Mary at Cana, Pray for al married couples

Mary at the cross, Pray for all who suffer
Mary in the Upper Room, Pray for all who wait
Mary model of Womanhood, Pray for all women

Woman of Faith, Remember us
Woman of Hope,
Woman of Charity,
Woman of suffering,
Woman of anxiety,
Woman of humility,
Woman of poverty,
Woman of purity,
Woman of obedience,

Woman who wondered, Remember us to God
Woman who listened,
Woman who followed Him,
Woman who longed for Him,
Woman who loves Him,

Mother of God,
Mother of Men,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of the World,
Mother we need,

Mother of the Unborn, Pray for all children

Mother who went on believing, We thank God for thee
Mother who never lost hope,
Mother who loved to the end,

Let us pray.

ALL HOLY and ever-living God, in giving us Jesus Christ to be our Saviour and Brother, thou didst give us Mary, His Mother, to be our Mother also: grant us, we pray thee; to live lives worthy of so great a Brother and so dear a Mother, that we may come at last to thee the Father of us all, Who liveth and reignth for ever. Amen.

Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us.

Prayer to Our Lady of Walsingham

O BLESSED Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon us, our parish, our country, our homes, and our families, and upon all who greatly hope and trust in thy prayers, (especially…) Bythee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and hope, was given to the world; and he has given thee to us that we may hope still more. Plead for us your children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we all may be made worthy to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us.

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