THE solemn Coronation of our Lady of Walsingham in the Holy Father's name and by his special decree . . . Lourdes filled by a multitude of many nations .. . Numerous Masses in the evening . . . Mass on a volcano . . . Hundreds of all-night vigils in the churches of Portugal while 1,000 men and women, young and old, were marching from Lisbon to Fatima for peace in Goa . . . Italy, in the midst of a national holiday, becoming "one great temple" as the Holy Father by radio led the nation in the "Angelus" . . .
These were some of the splendid—and penitential— ceremonies which made the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption in Mary's Year the greatest held in living memory—and on the finest Sunday of Britain's summer.
Then there was the Holy Father's broadcast to Canada to tens of thousands attending the final ceremonies of the Mary Year Congress which began with Pontifical Mass at midnight 11 days before, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows.
At the same time thousands were making a penitential pilgrimage in torrents of rain to pray at the Shrine of St. Francis Xavier for a peaceful end of the dispute between Portugal and India over the future of Goa.
Fifty thousand gathered on the bed of the lake on Lady's Island in Co. Wexford for the final rally in Ireland of Fr. Patrick Peyton's Family Rosary Crusade. For three months boys had worked every evening to drain the lake.
For the first time since the grotto at Carfin—"the Scottish Lourdes"—was opened nearly 32 years ago, evening Mass was celebrated there with a congregation of 8,000.
Relics of Our Lady's veil, of St. Anne and St. Joachim, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Bernard were carried in the procession round the grounds of the grotto.
Tribute in the Himalayas
Thousands in heavy rain walked in the Isle of Man's first great procession and attended evening Mass at the Lourdes Grotto at Onchan.
The week-end brought news too that the Italian climbers who recently reached the top of the world's second highest mountain— K2 in the Himalayas—left a statue of Our Lady on the summit.
Amidst the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire, 4,000 people led by Bishop king of Portsmouth, Abbot Tissot and eight monks of the Solesmes Congregation from Quarr Abbey, commemorated at open-air Pontifical Benediction the 750th anniversary of the day on which for the first time the Cistercians sang Compline in their "Royal Abbey of Our Lady in the Beautiful Place."
At Hednesford, Staffs, more than 6,000 Poles celebrated the feast with High Mass in the open-air—at which 800 received Holy Cornmunion—Benediction and a procession of the Blessed Sacrament.
And meanwhile the Lourdes Mary Year torch, which has been taken by relays of runners to many European countries, was on its way from Rome to Turkey, where men of Turkish Catholic Action will arrange for it to reach Our Lady's sanctuary at Ephesus.
Ceremony on dogma centenary
Moreover, in a pastoral letter read on the feast day, Bishop Cowderoy announced that he has received from the Holy See authority for the crowning of what is believed to be the first statue of Our Lady exposed publicly in a Catholic chapel in this country since the Reformation.
It is a small but venerable statue and is to be known as "Our Lady of St. George's."
The coronation will take place on Wednesday, December 8, the centenary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in St. George's Pro-Cathedral, Southwark. At the same hour evening Mass will be celebrated in every public church and chapel of the diocese.
`Our Lady of Milan' on second highest peak THE "unknown" Italian climbers who on July 31 reached the top of K2—Mount Godwin Austen, the second highest mountain in the world –left on the summit a small statue of Our Lady of Milan.
The statue was given to the climbers by Cardinal Schuster, Archbishop of Milan. before the party left to attempt the 28.250 ft, mountain. only 900 ft. lower than Everest.
The expedition had been placed under the protection of Our Lady of Milan and was led by Dr. Ardito Desio, professor of geology at Milan University.
The flags of Italy and Pakistan were hoisted at the summit but the names of those who took part in the final assault were not published.
Dr. Desio visited London last year, met members of the victorious Everest team and examined equipment used by the British expedition.
Lourdes is overwhelmed
UNEQUALLED waves of Mary Year pilgrims to Lourdes have prompted Bishop Theas of Tarbes and Lourdes to declare: "Lourdes does not go on; Lourdes is beginning."
Nearly 25,000 pilgrims a day overwhelmed the hotels and another 30,000 or 40,000 arrived for the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption. They went about their devotions in heavy rain.
Parties from industrial areas all over France mingle with pilgrimages from U.S.A. and Canada and many thousands of Europeans.
Since the beginning of August there have been trainloads of pilgrims from Britain and Ireland, 18 from Belgium, four from Holland, four from Italy and three from Cologne, together with parties from North Africa and Poles living in France.