13 February 2020, The Tablet

A reminder of England’s roots


The rededication of England as Our Lady’s Dowry, which the Catholic Church is celebrating on the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March, is unfashionable and counter-cultural. Therein lies its potency. If it is to be no more than a sentimental journey into a half-forgotten national memory, that potential will be wasted. If it is a rededication to the values Our Lady espoused as well as to her Person, as set out for instance in the Magnificat, it is a timely act of subversion.

Scattering the proud and bringing down the powerful, while lifting up the lowly and sending the rich away empty, does have a certain relevance to the present. As does her reminder of “the promise made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever” – a perfect antidote to anti-Semitism.

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