News Archive

Friday 20 August 2021

Bishop Bagshawe and Our Lady of York

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This is Bishop Edward Bagshawe, third Bishop of Nottingham. He was a Father of the London Oratory, and was consecrated bishop there by Cardinal Manning in 1874. It was Bishop Bagshawe who enabled the original statue of Our Lady of York to come to St Wilfrid's.

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The statue of Our Lady of the Ramparts, Mother of Mercy, originally stood on the road between Moorseele and Menin in Flanders, until in 1687 the Dominican friars of Menin moved it to their church. Every year a novena took place following the feast of the Assumption, which is why we maintain this custom today.

The disturbances following the French Revolution brought an end to the shrine in Menin, and the statute found its way to England, and into the hands of Fr Vandepitte.

Bishop Bagshawe gave permission to Fr Richard Vandepitte to move the statue from Market Harborough to York in 1884. The Lady Chapel at the west end of the church had originally been the Chapter House for the Canons of the Diocese of Beverley when St Wilfrid's was the pro-Cathedral. The chapel lends itself ideally to being a shrine.

Sadly the statue was stolen in 1974, but our new statue, carved in Oberammagau, and enthroned in the shrine in 2017, revives this devotion.

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