Friday, July 13, 2012

We gathered...

...under darkening skies, on the Cathedral steps after the 5.3pm sung High Mass. The Catholic History Walks, begun a couple of years ago, keep attracting more and more enthusiasts. As the rain began to fall, I explained that, by Tradition, it makes no difference whatever to us - our brochures proclaim "Wear suitable clothing and shoes - we'll be walking whatever the weather" - and we moved into the blustery piazza and gazed up at the glorious frontage of the Cathedral as I told something of its story, the visits of Blessed John Paul (30 years ago this year) and of the current Holy Father, the visit of HM the Queen for its centenary and more...On down Ambrosden Avenue to Archbishop's House and the story of Cardinals Wiseman, Manning, Vaughan, Bourne, etc etc...then, by now extremely wet but very cheerful and undeterred, to Westminster City Hall, where we examined the City's crest, which features Our Lady (yes it does - look and check) commemorating Our Lady of Westminster, and we said a Hail Mary. On to St James Park with various stops for thoughts on London's history - names of pub signs, Catholic saints and martyrs, monarchs and wars and events, events, events...and finally to Buckingham Palace where, in keeping with the Tradition established on the very first History Walks, we ended with a rousing three cheers for our Sovreign, and prayers for our country. No one had left the group, people to lingered to chat beneath dripping umbrellas, all were cheerful, and it was a grand evening.

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