ENGLAND – Next year, England will renew their consecration to the Blessed Mother.
The re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary is a spiritual renewal to facilitate the New Evangelization.
The first time England consecrated itself to Mary was in 1381. King Richard II and Anne of Bohemia offered England to Our Lady on the feast of Corpus Christi. They referred to the consecration as “The Dowry of Mary.”
Today, visitors can see this dedication depicted in the Wilton Dyptych, hanging in the National Gallery in London. The piece shows King Richard II praying in front of Our Lady. He’s surrounded by St. John the Baptist, St. Edward the Confessor, and St. Edmund.
But the 2020 dedication will be different than the one that took place in 1381. Instead of a gift of the country of England, the re-dedication will be a personal gift of the people of England to the Mother of God.
“In 1381, King Richard II dedicated the country of England as ‘Mary’s Dowry’ on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi at Westminster Abbey. On the Solemnity of the Annunciation in 2020, the dedication will not be of the country, but of the faith of the people of this country, as we seek to follow the words of our Blessed Lady to seek the will of God in our lives and ‘do whatever he tells us,'” Monsignor John Armitage explained in an interview with the National Catholic Register. Monsignor Armitage is the rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk.
As part of the spiritual preparation for the re-dedication, a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham is visiting every Catholic English cathedral. At each stop for the statue, the congregation holds three days of prayer.
Monsignor Armitage has big hopes for the 2020 dedication. “We are looking to deepen and promote devotion to the Mother of God in England, by helping the Catholic community to understand the deep roots of this devotion in the life of the Church and the country,” he explained.
“Walsingham is one of the oldest shrines to the Mother of God; and in pre-Reformation times, it ranked with Jerusalem, Rome and Compostela as the most visited shrines in Christendom.”
Monsignor Armitage isn’t the only one to have big dreams for the re-dedication of England to Our Lady.
In 1893, Pope Leo XIII asked the English bishops to consecrate their country to Mary, the Mother of God. “When England goes back to Walsingham, Our Lady will return to England,” Pope Leo XIII wrote.
When discussing the message of the re-dedication and of Our Lady, Monsignor Armitage emphasized the simplicity of Marian consecration. “The message of Our Lady at Walsingham is very simple: She asks us to ‘share her joy at the Annunciation,’ where her Son became our Savior.”