The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham will be leaving her hallowed seat in the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham as part of the tour.
The tour visit to St John’s involves a three-day triduum of prayer. There will be talks on the Dowry of Mary, an evening of Adoration, and a day set aside for visits from primary and secondary schools. The full schedule will be available to view at dowrytour.org.uk.
It is being jointly organised by the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, a group founded in 1887 that seeks “the conversion of England and Wales, the restoration of the lapsed, and prayer for the forgotten dead”.
The tour is part of the spiritual preparation for England’s re-dedication as the Dowry of Mary around the Solemnity of the Annunciation in 2020. Both the Tour and the rededication have the support of the English Bishops. It is a call to a spiritual renewal to support the New Evangelisation in England.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has called the rededication a “moment of great promise … for the Church in this country and for our mission”.
The term “Dowry of Mary” is thought to have originated in the 11th century. It means that England has been “set apart” for Mary. In 1350 a mendicant preacher remarked in a sermon that “it is commonly said that the land of England is the Virgin’s dowry”. An artwork known as the Wilton Diptych depicts the 14th-century King Richard II setting aside England as Mary’s dowry.
England and Wales were solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in fulfilment of the request of Our Lady of Fatima, by Cardinal Bernard Griffin on July 16, 1948, Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, on behalf of the Hierarchy of England and Wales.
This moment of grace happened in the ancient Priory Grounds in Walsingham on the hallowed spot of the destroyed ancient Holy House and Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. His Eminence ended his sermon on the day with this great rallying call which echoes still in our time:
“We want to win back the world to Christ and we want to do it God’s way and not our own. Our divine Lord came to the world through a human mother and it is through that same Mother that the world will return to Him.”
More details, including a detailed timetable, of the Norwich visit can be found at: http://dowrytour.org.uk/eastanglia/