On March 29th the rededication of England as our Our Lady’s Dowry took place. Although timely in our present crisis, this was first discussed by the Bishops of England and Wales in 2017. On 12th of February 2020, Pope Francis blessed the painting of Our Lady of Walsingham, commissioned to mark the rededication.
To read the full story: https://www.walsingham.org.uk/2020/02/14/pope-blesses-painting-of-our-lady-of-walsingham/
The medieval Wilton Diptych (c. 1395-99) portrays the original dedication by King Richard II in 1381 and shows Our Lady surrounded by angels.
To learn more: https://www.nationalgallery.co.uk/products/the-wilton-diptych-print-front/p_NG4451
For those familiar with Mother Cabrini’s Travel Letters, the Dyptich and re-dedication bring to mind the sight which greeted her, as her train approached Victoria Station in London on 4th of August 1902. She described it as follows in her Travel Letter of August 1902:
It was a splendid day but ore splendid was the picture wihc presented itself to my sight, on our arrival
as the sun was setting. A spectacle never represented before appeared playfully in the sky. Some richly
gilded clouds formed a glorious throne, from the centre of which surged an extraordinary light surrounded
by twelve shining stars which all sent forth sparkling rays: it seemed to be the throne of the Queen of
Angels. The I saw the Most Holy Madonna, with a beautiful diadem and with the Child, seated on
her knees, who stretched out his arms in the act of protecting us.
Mother Cabrini went on to refer to the sight as, ‘but the playful movement of the clouds at the setting of the sun’.
Mother Cabrini first called England ‘the land of the Angels’ in her Travel Letter of 1895.
I left [England] secretly imploring blessings on this country which I should love,
if possible, to call again soon ‘the land of the Angels.’
The forthcoming re-dedication of England as Our Lady’s Dowry will be in two parts: a personal dedication with the Angelus Promise and a communal entrustment. This is an opportunity to dedicate ourselves and work to Our Lady as Mother Cabrini did over 100 year ago. In a letter to Mother Maddalena, her trusted confidante, Mother Cabrini wrote: ‘I hope that the Queen of Angels will enable us to see miracles in this country’. During the COVID-19 pandemic our hope is also that she will intercede for miracles for her children in England and throughout the world.
To access The Angelus Promise and the Act of Entrustment:
The Angelus Promise
The Angelus Promise is a spiritual exercise created to assist you to embrace the message of Our Lady, as expressed in the Angelus. It invites you to “share in the joy of the Annunciation” by following Mary’s openness to God’s call, through her faith-filled “yes”. Through your own faith-filled “yes”, the Lord will work wonders in your life.
R: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
V: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit
As God once chose Mary to become the Mother of His Son through the message of an angel, so He chooses me this day, and invites me through the ministry of the Church or the example of another, to seek and do His Will at this moment in my life.
Hail Mary full of Grace…
R: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
V: Be it be done unto me according to thy Word
Mary’s response to her invitation, “let it be done to me according to your Word”, opened her heart to God’s grace and all things became possible. Let my “yes” today take away fear, as I embrace God’s Will, and like Mary “ponder these things in my heart”.
Hail Mary full of Grace…
R: And the Word became flesh (Bow or genuflect)
V: And dwelt among us
At a moment in history, Mary’s faith-filled “yes” conceived Him, first in her heart, which then led to the birth of our Saviour. Through accepting Him in my heart, enable me to recognise my role in bringing Christ to my sisters and brothers today. Hail Mary full of Grace…
R: Pray for us most holy Mother of God
V: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Let us pray: O Holy Mother of God, pray for us, and assist us as we dedicate ourselves this day. Your Yes at the Annunciation brought our Saviour Jesus into the world, and you invite us to contemplate the great mystery of the Incarnation, sharing your joy in announcing that “the Word was made flesh and lived among us.” May our yes, this day, open our hearts to serve our sisters and brothers in this your Dowry, that they too may share our joy in the Good News that God walks among us. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Act of Entrustment of England to Our Lady
Based on Prayer of Erasmus 1532, Dedication of England to the Mother of God 1893, Prayer for England, Cardinal Griffin’s Act of Consecration 1948, Act of Consecration St John Paul 1982
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy “Dowry” and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee.
We your faithful people assembled here offer you this country in which we live. Once it was yours, all its children were your children and you were honoured throughout England as its Protectress and its Queen. Again, do we consecrate it as your Dowry, and entrust it to your maternal care.
By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more.
To you we entrust the Church, which invokes you as Mother. On earth you preceded her in the pilgrimage of faith. Comfort her in her difficulties and trials. Make her always the sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the whole human race. To you, Mother of the human family, and of the nations, we confidently entrust the whole of humanity with its hopes and fears. Let it not lack the light of true wisdom. Guide it to seek freedom and justice for all. Direct its steps in the ways of peace. Enable all to meet Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.
Pray, O Holy Mother of God, for the conversion of heart of the people of England, restoration of the sick, consolation for the troubled, repentance of sinners, peace to the departed. Queen of Peace pray for us and give to the world the peace for which all peoples are longing, peace in the truth, justice and charity of Christ. Give peace to the nations and to the souls of all, that in peace, the Kingdom of God may prevail.
Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.
May your prayers bring back this country to the fullness of its ancient faith. May your intercession lead us to a closer union with your divine Son. We offer you all the people of this land, especially those who know you so little or not at all. May all in our country know Christ, the light of the world and its only Saviour.
Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home.
Response May we who follow your Son, be fruitful in the good work of building a culture of life in our world, where all human life is treasured and the gift of God’s creation is respected and cared for, so that all may share the fruits of Gods generous love.
V: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God
R: That we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen.
The wonderful filial love which burnt within the hearts of your forefathers towards the great Mother of God, Christ’s happy minister in our salvation, to whose service they consecrated themselves with such abundant proofs of devotion, that the Kingdom itself acquired the singular title of Mary’s Dowry
(Pope Leo XIII, 1893)