A joyful welcome at St George’s, Southwark!

Archbishop Peter Smith speaking to the congregation. The Relic Image is to one side.

Archbishop Peter Smith

This beautiful, majestic Cathedral of St George in Southwark welcomed Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Miraculous Relic Image on the evening of Friday, July 29th 2017.

Designed by the great Augustus Pugin and opened in 1848, it was considered the most important Catholic Church in England until the opening of Westminster Cathedral. It has been host to many other great occasions, including the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982 and the Dalai Lama in 1999.

The congregation is a true reflection of the great mix of cultural diversity in Southwark. The Cathedral has a lovely statue of St Frances Xavier Cabrini, Patron Saint of Immigrants, highlighting this fact.

St Frances Xavier Cabrini

St Frances Xavier Cabrini

Our Lady’s Miraculous Relic Image was received with wonderful reverence by everyone. As with all Her Visits, our Brothers of The Knights Of St. Columba were a vital part of the proceedings, always ensuring pilgrims’ safety and encouraging respect and dignity throughout.

Knights of St Columba standing before Relic Image

The Knights of St Columba

The well-attended Service of Reception was led by Archbishop Peter Smith. He was assisted by Father Ola and others. What a joyful start to The Visit! Veneration followed until the cathedral closed.

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The showers failed to dampen the second day of Our Lady’s Visit to the Cathedral as Masses were celebrated throughout the day. There seemed to be very little time when She was alone as pilgrims continued to be with Her in Veneration between each Mass. The Sisters of Charity, who live and work in the community close by, visited with a group of young people from Malta. Another happy group of Parishioners and friends travelled with their Priest from one of the parishes in the Diocese.

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There was plenty of opportunity for Prayer and Reflection during the afternoon; veneration continued throughout these times. It was during this time that Guardian Andrew recalled with sadness the recent events of Terrorism, so close to the Cathedral, that affected the local community. They are in our Prayers.

Guardian Andrew Hinde speaking to congregation

Guardian Andrew Hinde

Sunday saw a little more sunshine between the showers as pilgrims continued to enter the Cathedral to Venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Miraculous Relic Image.

Many Masses were celebrated; one of the most memorable was the Spanish Mass at 1pm with a large, joyful congregation and a happy choir.

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After Mass, Father led the congregation in Veneration. Some pilgrims were so moved that they erupted into song in honour of Our Lady. What a perfect gift for Her! Again, there was opportunity for peaceful prayer and reflection until the Cathedral closed in the evening.

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Veneration of the Relic Image

More photos of the Pilgrimage Visit to St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, are available on our Facebook page. Our grateful thanks to Sean Mulligan, former Knight of St Columba, for sending them to us.