Struck by the Epidemic, England Reclaims Its Title “The Dowry of Mary”

April 02, 2020

On Passion Sunday, March 29, 2020 England renewed its consecration to Our Lady of Walsingham, as Britain was hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic. Great Britain first adopted the title “dowry of Mary” in 1381 under King Richard II, who at the time was only 14 years old.   

For Monsignor John Armitage, rector of Our Lady of Walsingham - known as the “English Lourdes -” the consecration made on March 29 aims to help “the country face the challenges of the present time.”  

“The renewing of the consecration resembles the time when Richard II first enacted it. While England faced great political turbulence in 1381, he went to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Puy in Westminster Abbey, to beg for her protection and ask for advice,” said Monsignor Armitage.  

However, in light of the epidemic of Covid-19, public celebrations have been canceled. And it was behind closed doors on March 29, 2020 at 12pm that the act of consecration was recited in the sanctuary, followed by the “mass of pilgrims.”  

Across the entire country, bishops, priests, religious, and the faithful were able to join this live broadcast event. When this epidemic ends, an image of the Mary, blessed on February 26 by the Pope in a Wednesday audience, will begin a pilgrimage to all the parishes in England

The devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham goes back to 1061, when the Virgin Mary appeared to an English nobleman, Richeldis de Faverches urging him to build a replica of the house of Nazareth. Destroyed during the Anglican Reformation, the sanctuary was restored in the 19th century.