Saturday Shoppers in York Watch Pilgrimage With Respectful Curiosity
Photo: The statue of St Margaret Clitherow is carried through The Shambles in York, close to where the martyr lived. (Photo credit: Leo Darroch)
The Latin Mass Society’s third pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, one of its co-patrons, took place in York on Saturday 4th May, the feast day of the English Martyrs. Solemn Mass was celebrated in the Church of St Wilfrid by Canon Amaury Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King, with Fr Michael Hall as deacon and Fr John Cahill as subdeacon.
After Mass, there was a procession carrying a statue of St Margaret Clitherow through the streets of York and passing through The Shambles, where St Margaret lived, and over Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution. The procession ended at the Church of the English Martyrs, where there Benediction was offered by Fr Stephen Brown.
York was full of tourists during the Bank Holiday weekend, who watched the procession pass through the crowded streets with a respectful curiosity.
One lady who was visiting from Perth in Australia, and happened to enter St Wilfrid’s Church, just as the Gospel was about to be sung, was amazed at the sight of a Traditional Mass, saying that nothing like that ever took place in her home diocese.
The musical setting of the Mass was Thomas Luis de Victoria’s Missa Simile est Regnum, sung by the Rudgate Singers who also sang Gregorio Allegri’s Adoremus in Aeternum at Benediction. The day ended with the congregation singing Fr Faber’s Faith of our Fathers!
Pilgrimage organiser Paul Waddington said: ‘We were very pleased with the turnout for this year’s pilgrimage which showed an increase on last year’s event. The sight of pilgrims processing through the busy streets of York past Saturday shoppers always draws people’s attention and is an important public witness to the Catholic Faith.’
St Margaret Clitherow was arrested in 1586 for the crime of harbouring Catholic priests. She refused to enter a plea to prevent a trial that would involve her children being made to testify, and therefore being subjected to torture. The standard punishment for refusing to enter a plea was being crushed to death and this was carried out to the horror of many local people on 25 March 1586.