Reflection for the 25 Sunday of Ordinary time, week beginning 19 September 2021.
In September we have had, to date, two days relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the 8th the Church formally celebrates her birthday. On the 15th we have the Memorial of her Sorrows (or Dolours).
On Friday of the coming week, the 24th, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, formerly the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom.
The Our Lady of Ransom title stems from 13th century Spain. In separate visions, she asked (St.) Peter Nolasco, (St.) Raymond of Penyafort, and King James 1 of Aragon to set up a religious order. The purpose of this would be to liberate Christians who had been kidnapped by the Moslem Moors, taken to African prisons and cruelly tortured to deny their faith in Christ. These three leading Christians would win through prayer, through raising ransom money and vowing to offer themselves in place of captured Christians.
Paintings of Our Lady of Ransom always show her protecting people with her mantle or robe.
Our Lady of Walsingham has now replaced the above Memorial. In the 11th century she appeared to Richeldis, lady of Walsingham, asking for a house to be built, replicating the house of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
In our times, we need to pray to Our Lady for ransom from all sin and evil, not just pandemics. We need to pray for the conversion of England back to its Roman Catholic roots. On Friday 24th, why not commit to praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, with your family, for these vitally important intentions.