Holy Mile

Pilgrims leaving the slipper chapel

As part of the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage we all walked the Holy Mile from the slipper chapel to the Anglican Shrine. We were all given rosaries, I had my own and the idea was to pray the mysteries as we walked.

As soon as we started off walking it began to rain but we carried on. I led a full rosary of the luminous mysteries and it was surprisingly tiring. As I walked barefoot dodging the larger stones on the road, I was concentrating on how many Hail Mary’s I’d said, and having my voice loud enough to lead a large group who were also walking around me.

The rain became heavier and the tarmac spikier and once we entered the Main Street through the village the tarmac smoothed out.

There was a sense of relief, but also a feeling of immense joy walking barefoot on the waterlogged ground.

Entering the village

I looked up at the bunting that was hanging between the buildings and felt my voice become louder reciting the rosary. Here we were walking the Holy Streets of Walsingham proclaiming the heavenly words that the Angel spoke to Mary. It was beautiful and my eyes prickled with grateful tears of joy and love for this most wonderful place.

We entered the Shrine for Benediction outdoors. The rain was really coming down now, and the bells sang with joy as the blessed sacrament was processed onto the altar. What else was there to do but kneel on the soggy grass as the rain continued to fall.

Candle cups

We lit our candles and knelt in the presence of the Lord, rain continued streaming down over our faces and hands and feet, like a fresh spring of water that brought joy and refreshment.

Benediction in the rain

The rain extinguished the flames in our candle cup lights, but soon we found another flame to ignite it again. Through rain soaked eyes the blessed sacrament glowed in the fading light of the day. Minutes turned into hours as time lost all meaning in the symphony of the rain dropped orchestra.

Love rained down

Soon the bells rang again and the time of adoration finished, and just as quickly so did the rain.

Did we experience the Holy Waters of Walsingham sprinkling on us from above, instead from the well?

Did Our Lady of Walsingham stand next to Our Lord and watch, as trembling hands clutched onto candle light, as tired knees and feet bowed down in awe?

Oh blessed pilgrims we were, that on such a sweet night we were washed in Holy love.