Friday, October 7, 2011

In Honor of Our Lady of the Rosary and Blessed John Henry Newman

I guest-posted on Sarah Reinhard's Snoring Scholar blog during her October series on the Rosary. I tried to write in a less academic not quite devoltional mode but still managed to mention the English Reformation, Blessed John Henry Newman, Our Lady of Walsingham, the Anglican Ordinariate, and Mary's Dowry in a post about the Rosary!

Many thanks to Sarah for making the post look so good!

Before the 16th century English Reformation, England was called Mary’s Dowry. The English people and their monarchs had great devotion to Mary. They often went on pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

When Henry VIII broke away from the universal Catholic Church and the authority of the papacy, all that changed. Henry ordered Mary’s shrines destroyed – even Walsingham, where he had travelled on pilgrimage. Soon the altars on which Her Son was worshipped and adored were torn down.

The people who wanted to worship Jesus and honor Mary as they and their ancestors always had could feel very alone. The parish churches they once attended looked different, without the altar, or candles, or statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. The Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist was gone, too.

They would rather pay a fine every month than attend the new services in those churches. They might have to wait months before the young Jesuit or Franciscan priest, wearing a disguise because he was considered a traitor to the state, came back to the local Catholic noble’s house to offer the Sacraments.

What could they do? They could pray the Rosary. . . .

See the rest on Sarah's blog. She and I met at the Catholic Writers Guild Conference in August, when we shared blogging duties for the members who could not attend.

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