Catholic Prayer: May Pilgrimages
It is a very old tradition to make pilgrimages during the month of May to shrines dedicated to Mary. Although this author is writing about the country of England, even in America there are shrines, basilicas, cathedrals or churches that one can visit in a pilgrimage.
Anyone who takes the trouble to use her local library to discover something of local history is almost certain to find that within a reasonable distance there was once a shrine dedicated to our Lady. There may be ruins of it left; it may have vanished. All the same, it is possible to arrange in any school or club a pilgrimage to the shrine. Someone should tell the pilgrims the story of that particular shrine and the purpose of shrines in general, before they set out. If there are not even ruins left, the pilgrims could take a statue of Mary with them and place it on the site that was once dedicated to her. A pilgrimage like this can mean a whole day in the country and it ought to be enlivened with games and songs and outdoor cooking if possible. In some cases where records remain, no matter how fragmentary, of the shrine and yet it exists no longer, a club or youth group could attempt to reproduce on a small scale in their own meeting place the lost shrine. Or they could even create an entirely new shrine to replace the lost one. In this way the statue of our Lady which is so familiar because of its perpetual presence might be given a certain air of unfamiliarity, and it would then be not just "our Lady," but "our Lady of Missenden," "our Lady of Willesden," "our Lady of Sudbury," our Lady of our own district.Prayer Source: Candle is Lighted, A by P. Stewart Craig, The Grail, Field End House, Eastcote, Middlesex, 1945