England the Dowry of Mary


The Annunciation

“..Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38)

At the Annunciation, Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel, who asked her to give birth to God’s son, she freely accepts God’s will in her life. We also are free to say yes or no to God.

Mary’s yes changed the world. “Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.” St Bernard of Clairvaux

The story of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) perfectly describes the route of our spiritual journey: Before ever we seek God,  He is seeking us and initiates the conversation; but we are hesitant and fearful; as we seek to understand God’s will in our life; God reminds us of our experience of His love for us, and that “nothing is impossible for God”. If we, like Mary, say yes to God, we will conceive the Word in our heart, and bring Christ’s love into our families, communities, and our world, for we shall share her joy that “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour, for the Almighty has done great things for me.” (Luke 1:46)

2020 has been chosen to re-dedicate England as the Dowry of Mary.



In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary, by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple.

History shows us that when the people pray a surrender to God’s will for their lives, society is transformed. By taking up this personal dedication in 2020, you can be a part of the renewal of this nation, drawing ourselves closer to the will of our loving God, through Mary.


England, The Dowry of Mary

There is a tradition that the title ‘Dowry of Mary’ goes back to St Edward the Confessor (1042 – 1066). There is no doubt, about the deep devotion to Mary that existed in medieval England, and the fame of Walsingham and other medieval English Shrines of Mary are a strong testimony to this devotion.

The first documented evidence for the title was found in a painting which used to hang in the Hospice of St Thomas, which was the English Hospice for pilgrims in Rome, now the Venerable English College. It showed King Richard II (r. 1377-1399) and his consort Anne of Bohemia at Westminster Abbey on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1381. They are praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pewe, offering England to Mary as her Dowry. He holds a parchment with a Latin inscription: ‘Dos tua pia haec est, quare leges, Maria’ – This is your dowry, O pious Virgin.


The dedication in 2020, unlike the dedication of King Richard II in 1381, will not be the gift of the country of England, but the personal gift of the faith of the people of England to Mary, Christ’s first disciple, to seek her help in building a strong spiritual foundation for the New Evangelisation.

In school we will be enabling the children to take part in this historic event through:

- the children making a promise to Mary that with Her help they will try to be closer to Jesus

- Praying special prayers to Mary every day -You could join in these special prayers as a family.( see the Information sheet and  certificate)

- having a special mass, which you are very welcome to join us for at 9.30 on the 31st March

- creating art work dedicated to Mary

All over the UK there are shrines dedicated to Mary ( see the powerpoint for more information)  You could visit one or more of these shrines as a family and pray to Mary. 

( click on the links for more information)

A more detailed history about why England is known as the Dowry of Mary can be found at https://www.behold2020.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-englands-love-for-mary


Contact the School

St Annes Catholic Primary School

Wellington Road

Main Contact: Mrs M Ashbrooke, School Business Manager

Tel: 01270 685353

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