• 24 Sep 20

Sep 24 - “Our Lady of Walsingham” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day Our Lady!

In 1601, during Saxon times, in Walsingham England, a young widow wanted to do something special for Our Lady and she expressed her wish in her prayers.  She was taken in spirit to Nazareth and shown the Holy House where the annunciation took place.  Our Lady asked the widow to build a replica of the house in England.  Mary promised “whoever seeks my help there will not go away empty-handed.”  The replica house she built soon became a special place of devotion and was later encased in stone to protect it. 

The Slipper chapel, which stood one mile before the Holy House, is where pilgrims would remove their shoes and walk the last mile barefoot in penance.  The shrine was visited by people from all walks of life, including kings and queens.  Sadly, when King Henry the VIII declared himself the head of the Church of England, he had the shrine burnt to the ground and the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was taken to London to be destroyed.  The Slipper chapel was all that remained and saw centuries of secular use.  In 1896, a devout woman named Charlotte Boyd bought the chapel and restored it.  She even had a statue carved based on the original design of the medieval statue.