England: Martyrs’ relics escape blaze at Marian Shrine

I believe that you can still get a discounted subscription to the online, digital full version of the Catholic Herald for a mere “tenner”, £10.  Right now about $16.27.

LadyewellAnd speaking of the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the lovely and persistent feature-writer Anna Arco posted this piece in the last issue.

I don’t think you can see this article on the Catholic Herald website without the subscription.

Martyrs’ relics
escape blaze at Marian shrine

A collection of relics belonging Reformation martyrs have survived a fire at the Marian shrine of Ladyewell in Lancashire, which left the chapel burned out.
The Burgess altar at which St Edmund Campion, St Edmund Arrowsmith and Blessed John Woodcock celebrated Mass, and other relics of the Reformation, were rescued from the flames of a small fire which broke out at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fernyhalgh, near Preston, last week.
Fr Tom Hoole, the director of the Ladyewell Shrine and parish priest of St Mary’s Fernyhalgh, discovered the fire in the chapel in the morning at Ladyewell House and called the fire brigade.
The rescue team was able to save the Blessed Sacrament at the priest’s instructions, as well as the relics and other religious artefacts. These have suffered from smoke damage. The fire remained contained in the chapel and the shop below it thanks to closed doors. The rest of the house is intact although it has been heavily smoke damaged. The shop and the chapel are almost completely destroyed.
The fire service has said that it is currently discounting arson as the cause for the fire, but  is investigating the cause.
Fr Robert Billing, the Bishop of Lancaster’s secretary, said that Fr Hoole and the volunteers at the Shrine were determined to continue as normally as possible and that they would hold Masses at the larger St Mary’s Fernyhalgh, “just down the lane” from the damaged shrine. He said the shrine was not just a popular destination for Roman Rite pilgrims but was also visited by members of the Syro-Malabar Rite and Hindus.
Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster went to inspect the damage on the afternoon of the fire.
He said: “Obviously, at this time, our support and prayers are with Fr Tom Hoole and his dedicated team. Ladyewell Shrine, along with the local area, has suffered from much turbulence over the centuries and survived and flourished. It will do so again.”
The Ladyewell Shrine has been the site of devotion since the 11th century, which became a devotion to Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs’ after the Reformation. The reliquary holds relics and memorabilia belonging to the English Martyrs. The shrine was kept open during penal times, with only a short five year gap, and was the site for pilgrimages despite not having had an apparition. St Mary’s Fernyhalgh was built much later than the shrine in the 18th century.

I was unaware of this shrine.  Their website is HERE.

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  1. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Titus, yes, Hindus. Being polytheists or something like that, they visit shrines of many religions, figuring that the gods worshipped there are somehow included in their bunch of gods. I know many Hindus and they are very easy to talk to about Jesus. Not so easy to get to convert though because they don’t see the point.

  2. irishgirl says:

    I echo Titus’ question: Hindus? What would they be doing at a Catholic shrine?
    Terrible thing about the fire, however; but thank goodness the relics were saved!
    I hope it wasn’t arson….

  3. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Irishgirl, see above.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Ladyewell is one of the oldest shrines in England and was not closed, like Walsingham was, during the Persecution. I am afraid it was arson, but we do not know, of course. Hindus are into shrines and one sees them even in churches on the Continent. It is amazing how eclectic they are. One does not turn such spiritual people away, hoping that some will be open to supernatural graces.

    Thank God the Body of Christ and the relics were saved. I thought it ironic that the firefighters helped with the saving of these things, as their ancestors may have been the same as those who rode their horses into the sanctuaries and purposefully trod on the Eucharist, as at Fountains. Things have improved. God bless all involved.

  5. Oh, no. They did a beautiful little documentary about that shrine that’s been shown on EWTN, and that chapel looked like it really was a special place. But thank God that the relics were saved; and of course the well itself was bound to be fine.

    Some sorts of people tend to be drawn to holy places, no matter how confused they are in their actual beliefs. (Sometimes pretty confused.) As long as they’re not doing anything unseemly or openly idolatrous, there’s no harm and a lot of good in letting in all comers. And the whole nature of a Christian holy well is that it should be open to travelers, the sick, the needy. “All you that thirst, come to the water.”

  6. irishgirl says:

    Banjo Pickin Girl-yes I did see the above comment. I’m still rather perplexed, though.
    Hope this isn’t off topic-I remember the flap several years ago when a group of Hindus visited the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima.
    Suburbanbanshee-yes, I see your point, too.

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