walsingham history

1061 AD

The event that brought huge numbers of people to Walsingham 900 years ago

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"God sent the angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, where a Virgin dwelt, betrothed to a man of David's lineage; his name was Joseph, and the Virgin's name was Mary. Into her presence the angel came, and said, 'Hail, thou who art full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women." [Luke 1:26-28].

It was 1,000 years later that a woman called Richeldis de Faverches, widow and Lady of the Manor, was said to have encountered a vision. The Virgin Mary appeared to her on three occasions, seen in the setting of the house in Nazareth. Richeldis was dictated the exact dimensions of the house and instructed to build it in the village.

She immediately set her builders and carpenters to work on the special task. However, their despondent return -on that day- told of a disappointing start to the project. That night, unable to sleep, Richeldis heard singing that seemed to emanate from the unfinished structure. As she rushed towards the site she was amazed to see angels departing from the completed structure. Her further surprise was that it had been moved some 200 or more feet! The following morning the workmen agreed that the house had been completed in a manner far beyond their capabilities, standing 'solid as a rock' on its new foundations.

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Copyright © 1998 Sean O'Connell, Bournemouth, UK