To follow on from my previous blog, this being the month of May when we honour Our Blessed Lady as the Mother of our God and our heavenly mother, we are making a pilgrimage today to our local shrine, St Mary's Chapel and Well at Jesmond.
St Mary's Chapel at 'Jesu Mount' was regarded as one of the most important shrines in Christendom in medieval times. The reason for this veneration was due to the fact that evidence of the enactment of healing miracles at St Mary's Well had been received and accepted by the Pope in Rome. It was held that Jesus at the request of the Virgin Mary, had perforemed miracles between AD1125 and AD1250 at the Well, which was in a wooded hollow, a short distance to the west of the chapel. The chapel was built in the mid 12th century. It has been suggested that the Lords of Jesmond brought relics from the Holy Land to the chapel which caused it to become the object of pilgrimages. Pilgrim Street in Newcastle City centre is so named because the pilgrims would lodge there on their way to St Mary's at Jesmond. In 1428 the Chapel was partly ruined and Pope Martin requested that it should be repaired. He announced,
"To all the faithful, relaxation during ten years of one year and forty days of enjoined penance, to penitents who, on the principle feast of the year and of the dedication of the below mentioned church, visit and give alms for the repair and conservation of the chapel of St Mary, Jesmond, in the Diocese of Durham to which resorts a multitude on account of divers miracles wrought through the merits of St Mary the Virgin whose buildings are very ruinous"
(Thanks to my husband for this local historical research)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death, Amen