Last Saturday a group of about 12 pilgrims from St. Chrysostom’s joined pilgrims from St. Peter’s, Oughtrington, and members of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on a May pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady at Ladyewell. Devotion to Our Lady at Ladyewell goes back to the 11th century. Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue describes the shrine as mysterious.. tranquil… Even today it represents a haven of silence and prayer; a vibrant centre of pilgrimage and devotion for thousands of Christians… a place too, where divine power and providence operate through the sacred shrine of Blessed Mary, Queen of Martyrs.
Our pilgrimage started with the journey to the Shrine. We had to overcome some obstacles! Luckily for our band of pilgrims it was just the vast amount of traffic leaving Manchester at the same time. On arrival we were made very welcome by the shrine staff. Over tea and coffee we started to get to know our fellow pilgrims. We started at the shrine by praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. This was followed by a time of prayer. Lunch followed – a time of fellowship which gave us more time to get to know one another. We had free time to walk around grounds and enjoy the countryside, to pray and talk, as well as visiting the shrine’s shops.
Our pilgrimage finished with Mass in the Shrine’s Chapel and a great opportunity for the pilgrims to join our prayers together. Fr Michael preached about the shrine at Ladyewell and Our Lady. We learnt about some of the flowers that are attributed to Our Lady and the stories related to them. The main focus was on the flowers which were on the front of our pilgrimage booklet, two of the flowers are Corn Marigolds and Daisies. The Mass ended with the sprinkling with water from the shrine’s well. Then we said farewell to the shrine and our fellow pilgrims to start our journey home.
It was a brilliant day, a wonderful time to get away from it all, especially as Ladyewell is in the countryside, away from the busyness of the city. It was a day to come and pray and refresh ourselves before returning to the busyness of our everyday lives.