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February 6, 2005

York and Mary Ward

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In our previous visits to England we have never come this far north. The DH was always concerned that we would become snowed in and unable to continue our wanderings. This winter, though, we decided to come to Yorkshire.

In the 17th century a very couragous woman stood by her convictions, defied the monarchy and her church hierarchy to establish a community of like minded Catholic women to educate girls. Because of this woman - Mary Ward - I am able to work in a school whose philosophy on the education of girls is much like mine.

We had come to Yorkshire to pay my respects at Mary Ward's grave site. Unfortunately the church where she is buried was closed while we were there. We tried to visit the museum at the Loreto convent in York but it was also closed for the whole of January. Thanks to Mary Ward, though, we did get to see Yorkshire.

Since I have been back to school, our historian told me a story about how, after Mary's death, the people of York tried to have the convent closed but a vision of St Michael appeared above the building, scaring the folk into leaving the convent alone. All Loreto schools have a statue of St Michael on the campus to commemorate the event.

I suspect that the story actually comes from the fact that the convent stand just a few metres outside the Michelgate in the city wall of old York. So does the pub where we had lunch on the day that we visited.

Posted by robynls at February 6, 2005 6:58 PM

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