The history of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham is ancient. In 1061, Lady Richeldis de Faverches was shown in vision the house where the Annunciation had taken place in Nazareth. Our Lady then asked her to build a replica of what she had seen, in Norfolk. Our Lady said to her: ‘Whoever seeks my help there will not go away empty handed’.
In 1340, the Slipper Chapel, shown in the image below, was built at Houghton St Giles. A mile from Walsingham, this was the final station chapel on the route. Here, pilgrims would remove their shoes and walk the final stage barefoot.
In these days of pandemic, when pilgrimages are difficult, Our Lady comes to visit us right where we are. Her presence accompanies us in all our journeys of the spirit, and her love surrounds us, guiding and protecting us. May she pray for us, and may her Son bless us this day.