‘The angel had warned (St Joseph) to flee with the Child, because he was threatened by mortal danger. … Joseph of Nazareth, who saved Jesus from the cruelty of Herod, is shown to us in this moment as a great supporter of the cause of the defence of human life, from the first moment of conception to natural death. In this place, therefore, we wish to commend human life to Divine Providence and to Saint Joseph, especially the life of children not yet born, in our homeland and throughout the world.’
O Mary bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.
We are delighted that Bishop Mark Davies will lead the Pilgrimage in 2021, as he did previously in 2014.
Bishop Mark has spoken strongly in defence of Christian Faith and Life on many occasions. In a homily to the New Dawn conference in 2019 he said:
‘Yet, dark shadows remain in our day. At times they may even seem to be lengthening in British society, suffering as it does from amnesia (a loss of memory) of the Christian faith on which our society was built. This forgetfulness allows new ideological agendas to become the driving force of what is called ‘human progress.’ Yet, in reality it is the active discarding of the Christian moral inheritance whether in a radical assault upon the sanctity of human life or marriage itself as the foundation of the family; or upon human identity as it comes from the hand of the Creator.’
Bishop Mark was born in Manchester on 12 May 1959 and baptised at St Richard’s Church, Longsight. After completing his education in Manchester and Stockport he began his training for the priesthood at Ushaw College, Durham. Ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Thomas Holland of Salford on 11 February 1984 he served as an assistant priest before he was appointed private secretary to Archbishop Patrick Kelly in 1988. From 1992 until 2009 Father Davies was parish priest in a number of parishes, during this time also serving as Dean of North Manchester and then as Vicar General of the Salford Diocese. In December 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Monsignor Davies as the Coadjutor Bishop of Shrewsbury. He was ordained Bishop on 22 February 2010 at St Anthony’s, Wythenshawe, Manchester. On 1 October 2010 Bishop Davies became the 11th Bishop of Shrewsbury in succession to Bishop Brian Noble.
We hope that many pilgrims will be able to meet in Walsingham in 2021 for this, the 38th Pilgrimage, and be joined by many more from around the United Kingdom and the island of Ireland through the livestream facility from the Shrine.
Outline of the day
Built around the midday Holy Mass, celebrated by Bishop Mark Davies (Shrewsbury) with Fr Jeremy Davies and Fr David Donaghue, the day will also include opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. This time will include the Holy Rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Litany of Life and Benediction.
Mid-afternoon will herald the change of location from the Shrine to the Priory in the village, walking the Pilgrim Way, to the original site of the Holy House of Nazareth. This is the now traditional silent walk, a prayerful walk with Jesus to Calvary.
While the focus is prayer and reparation for sins against life, the pilgrimage is also a chance for those attending to spend time in the peace and quiet of England’s Nazareth
The Pilgrimage concludes in the Priory grounds with the final prayers
The Pilgrimage in 2022
The Pilgrimage in 2022 will take place on Saturday 6th August 2022, led by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth Diocese
The Pilgrimage in 2023
The Pilgrimage in 2023 will take place on Saturday 5th August 2023, led by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley