Today is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. Today in Walsingham there are two shrines--one Catholic, one Anglican. Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's vice regent in these spiritual matters, had the first (Catholic) shrine destroyed along with other shrines to the Mother of God throughout England. The statues were brought to the Chelsea area of the London and destroyed in a bonfire. More about the shrine here.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
Last Sunday, before the recitation of the Angelus and after the Mass at which John Henry Newman was beatified, Pope Benedict spoke of Newman's devotion to Mary:
In so many ways, he lived his priestly ministry in a spirit of filial devotion
to the Mother of God. Meditating upon her role in the unfolding of God's plan
for our salvation, he was moved to exclaim: "Who can estimate the holiness and
perfection of her, who was chosen to be the Mother of Christ? What must have
been her gifts, who was chosen to be the only near earthly relative of the Son
of God, the only one whom He was bound by nature to revere and look up to; the
one appointed to train and educate Him, to instruct Him day by day, as He grew
in wisdom and in stature?" (Parochial and Plain Sermons, ii, 131-2).