Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The LMS' Patron Saints, and the new banner

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The LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham was the first outing of a newly made banner. And it was the first time the LMS has commissioned something from the Guild of St Clare, a recently formed group of Catholic needleworkers committed to liturgical and domestic needlecraft in the context of the Traditional Catholic life.
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As well as paying for the materials, in recognition of the work done on the banner the LMS will set aside money for the Guild to spend on training. They can either pay an expert in a particular field of needlecraft to spend a day with them, or go as a group to a course with the Royal School of Needlework. Over time they will no doubt use both approaches. The skill at the top of their priorities is Goldwork, the use of gold and silver thread, which will be essential for the repair of fine vestments.
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The basic idea of the banner was specified by the LMS, but it was designed and made entirely by adult members of the Guild's Oxford branch. The Oxford branch also has a children's section; there are in addition branches in London and Birmingham. Anyone interested in joining, including setting up a new branch in another city, or in commissioning the Guild to make or repair something should email the Guild. Different branches of the Guild have already repaired vestments for several priests.
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The banner shows the Latin Mass Society's two patron saints, St Margaret Clitherow and St Richard Gwyn. St Margaret was recently honoured with an LMS Pilgrimage to York, where she was crushed to death with weights for sheltering priests in 1586. St Richard Gwyn (or White, a translation of his Welsh names into English), after studying in Oxford, Cambridge, and Douai, was a school teacher in Wales. Like St Margaret he was married with several children. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in Wrexham in 1584. There has also been an LMS pilgrimage to St Richard's site of martyrdom.
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Both were canonised in 1970, with the '40 Martyrs of England and Wales', by Pope Paul VI. The LMS's patron saints were chosen quite recently, in 2008. They represent the tradition of the lay apostolate, helping priests, passing on the faith, and giving charity to neighbours, in the context of family life, in both England and Wales.
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The banner became completely drenched on the pilgrimage; although a clear plastic cover was prepared for it, it was never in the right place at the right time to be used. The banner stood up well to this experience, and is little the worse for wear. We will however improve on the mechanism holding it up, which was put together at very short notice and is rather basic.

There's a set of photos of the making of the banner here; you can see it in action, on the Walsingham Pilgrimage, here (and in lots of other places!)
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