Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rector's Rambling - October 16, 2011

Yesterday in England, in a small town called Walsingham, there was a celebration of an event that happened 80 years ago, but in the bigger picture it was a celebration of an event in England that began 950 years ago and continues today.
October 15, 1931, an Anglican Priest named Fr. Alfred Hope Patten held a celebration to “translate” the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from his parish church to a newly restored Shrine Church.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was a great of place of pilgrimage, prayer, and miracle from its founding in 1061 until its destruction during the political and religious upheaval of the 16th Century.
Lady Richeldis received a vision that instructed her to build a shrine of the home of the Holy Family of our Lord. In doing so, she had a statue carved of Jesus being held by Mary which became a central focal point of the shrine, along with a well from which Holy Water was dispensed. That original image of our Lord and his mother appeared on pilgrims’ medals and coinage which survive to this date.
During the Reformation the Shrine was destroyed, the property confiscated by the King (the same King, who, along with six other Kings of England, had previously made official visits to the Shrine) and sold.
Today the Shrine continues to be a wonderful spot of spiritual refreshment, rejuvenation, and healing. This English Shrine is the only one in the world which has official recognition by the Anglican, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches, and all have chapels there to support and encourage the faithful and inquirer.
St. John’s has a copy of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham (original sized) in the chapel, located behind the votive candle rack and screen.

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