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England, Mary's Dowry.

England, Mary's Dowry

England has been known as Marty's Dowry since Anglo Saxon times. Dowry brings with it the question: What does "Dowry" mean in this context? Dowry is from the Latin word "Dos" meaning gift or donation, England, therefore, was given to the Blessed Virgin as a gift or donation. In Medieval times, the legal meaning of "dowry" was: "That part of a husband's estate which, on his triage, is set apart for his wife's maintenance in the event of him leaving her a widow." The triage recognized that this dowry was a priority and a perpetual and inalienable gift. England has thus been set apart for Mary, and since it was given to Her as Her own, for Her use, She may use it for Her own purposes.

There is also mandate of the Archbishop of Arundal, issued at the beginning of 1399, it reads:

"The contemplation of the great mystery of the Incarnation has brought
all Christian nations to venerate her from whom came the beginnings of
redemption. But we, as the humble servants of her inheritance, and
liegemen of her especial dower - as we are approved by common parlance
ought to excel all others in the favour of our praises and devotions to her."

Walsingham and Aylesford are often associated with England being Mary's Dowry. The events concerned with Walsingham are as follows: In 1061 Richeldis de Faverches, Lady of the Manor, and resident of Walsingham, reported that she was a recipient of a vision of the Blessed Virgin and that during the vision, Mary led her to the Holy Land and to the house in Nazareth where the Archangel Gabriel had appeared for the Annunciation and that She asked Richeldis to build another house like this at Walsingham with a most wonderful promise attached:

"Whoever seeks My help there will not go away empty-handed"

Richeldis built the house, it had the interior of Mary's house/home at Nazareth, with the building itself being wooden and of Anglo Saxon architecture. A very positive feature saw the use of statues in the house, and from which developed their devotional use throughout the country. With the addition of reported miracles, Walsingham, "England's Nazareth" became the national shrine of the Blessed Virgin, with pilgrims, including kings and queens, coming from all over England and beyond.


There is a tradition that, in 1251, the Blessed Virgin bestowed upon Her Carmelite Order the great gift of the Brown Scapular; the Brown habit of the Carmelites or it in miniature (for the Lay) two pieces of brown cloth worn on a cord. The Brown Scapular brings the promise of exemption from hell; final perseverance or final repentance, for those who wear it whilst observing due devotion to the Blessed Virgin. The gift was given to the Carmelites during a time of great difficulty: Following the Saracen invasion the Order was transferring from Mount Carmel in the Holy Land, to England, the Blessed Virgin guided them and to their destination; Aylesford in Kent.
Simon Stock (Saint) whom a number of years before had been told by the Blessed Virgin to join "an order who would soon be coming to England" (the Carmelites) had been given the task of overseeing the transferring of the Order, not just to a new Land but the contemplatives were also becoming mendicant Friars. St Simon found the task daunting and in some despair, he turned to the Blessed Virgin for help; the Brown Scapula followed: Throughout the night of July 15th, 1251 Simon prayed on his knees to Our Lady of Carmel and with these beautiful words he invoked Her protection and direction; particularly under Her title Stella Maris [Star of the Sea]:

Flower of Carmel
Blossom-laden vine,
Splendour of Heaven,
Virgin Unique!

Tender Mother
Yet Virgin too,
To the Carmelites
Grant favours!
O Star of the Sea!

Towards dawn, the Blessed Virgin appeared with the infant Jesus in Her arms, "living and moving
in dazzling splendour, surrounded by hosts of bright angels." Our Lady of Mount Carmel held in Her hand a large Brown Scapula with a square opening for the head. Giving this to Simon, She said:

"Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy Order: This shall be to thee and to all
Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in it shall not suffer eternal fire."

Simon thanked Her profusely for this great gift, this "garment of grace." In their new, very special, brown habits, and with the addition of rich papal indulgences,and with the faithful being able to wear the scapular in miniature, the transition was completed and the Order flourished.

The Reformation also saw the destruction of much of the evidence for England's Catholic heritage, and which would have very much included the evidence of England known as Mary's Dowry.

Pope Leo XIII spoke of England as Mary's Dowry during the visit of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to Rome in 1893, thus giving papal authority to the title and to the tradition. He also asked the Bishops to re-consecrate England to the Blessed Virgin and to St Peter, and this was carried out in the Oratory church in London.
The great tragedy of the Reformation, was a great tragedy for the forward momentum of England as Mary's Dowry. But England has the most incalculable honour in being Mary's Dowry, and we must always seek to help Her and to ask Her to fulfill its great potential.

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