England, The Dowry of Mary
There is a tradition that the title ‘Dowry of Mary’ goes back to St Edward the Confessor (1042 – 1066). There is no doubt, about the deep devotion to Our Lady that existed in medieval England, and the fame of Walsingham and other medieval English Shrines of Our Lady are a strong testimony to this devotion.
The first documentary evidence for the title was found in a painting which used to hang in the Hospice of St Thomas, which was the English Hospice for pilgrims in Rome, now the Venerable English College.
It showed King Richard II (r. 1377-1399) and his consort Anne of Bohemia at Westminster Abbey on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1381. They are praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pewe, offering England to Our Lady as Her Dowry. He holds a parchment with a Latin inscription: ‘Dos tua pia haec est, quare leges, Maria’ – This is your dowry, O pious Virgin.
The re-dedication, unlike the dedication of King Richard II in 1381, will not be the gift of the country of England, but the personal gift of the faith of the people of England to the Mother of God, to seek her help in building a strong spiritual foundation for the New Evangelisation.
The Dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary will take place on Sunday, 29th March in Westminster, Walsingham, every Cathedral, every parish and as many homes as possible. People will be invited to pray The Angelus following the guidelines in the booklet ‘Angelus Promise‘
For more details of the Reconsecration see pages 1, 4 and 5 of the A&B News February 2020