HISTORY OF THE HOLY HOUSE OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM

In 1061, just a few years before the Norman Conquest of England, Saxon noblewoman Richeldis de Faverches, Lady of the Manor of Walsingham, had a vision in which the Blessed Virgin took her to Nazareth and showed her the Holy House where the Archangel Gabriel had announced that she would give birth to the Savior of the world. Our Lady then requested Richeldis to create a replica of it in Walsingham, England. To Richeldis Our Lady said "Do all this unto my special praise and honor. And all who are in any way distressed or in need, let them seek me here in that little house you have made at Walsingham. To all that seek me there shall be given succor. And there at Walsingham in this little house shall be held in remembrance the great joy of my salutation when Saint Gabriel told me I should through humility become the Mother of God's Son." The vision was repeated to her three times, and she undertook the effort. According to holy legend, there were difficulties that arose in construction. Then one night, while Richeldis kept a vigil of prayer, angels came and finished the construction 200 feet from where it had been originally started.

In the Middle Ages, Walsingham quickly became one of the most important places of pilgrimages, along with Rome and Jerusalem. Many headed off to the Crusades to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims would make a pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Eventually the original structure was encased in a stone structure to protect it from the elements. Henry VIII, despite being originally a royal patron of the Shrine, brought about its destruction in 1538. However, in the twentieth century, nearly four hundred years later, Walsingham has again become a place of pilgrimage. There are actually two shrines at the site of the Holy House, one Anglican under the Church of England and one Roman Catholic within the Roman Communion. The traditional Old Roman Catholic Patriarchate of St. Stephen, as Servants of Our Lady of Walsingham in Italy and a Catholic continuation of the Anglican patrimony brought to central Italy beginning in the 16th century, prays for the Shrines at Walsingham, England, and all who make pilgrimages there.

[Return to the Main Page]

 

 

Entire Contents Copyright © 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016. Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church
All Rights Reserved. The Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church is a trademark.
The Anglican and Roman Catholic Shrines of Our Lady of Walsingham in England are not formally affiliated
with the Patriarchate of St. Stephen are the Servants of Our Lady of Walsingham in Italy.