Day with Mary at Westminster Cathedral and Fr Marcus Holden’s marvellous talk on Our Lady, Destroyer of All Heresies

Nicolas Bellord, a frequent contributor to Protect the Pope, has sent this account of the recent ‘Day with Mary’ at Westminster Cathedral. Fr Marcus Holden gave a marvelous sermon on Mary, the Destroyer of All Heresies which can be watched on Youtube:

Day with Mary at Westminster Cathedral.

Having got up at 6.30 (which is painful for us oldies) we arrived rather late, after ten, to find it had already started with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate singing the Litany of Loreto in Latin.

At 10.30 there was the normal Sung Mass, but unusually for Saturdays it was in Latin with an excellent sermon by Father John Ablewhite on the Conversion of St Paul. The sisters then led us through the five joyful mysteries. By this time the Cathedral was packed with an estimated 2,000 people – about 80% full and with a very large proportion from ethnic communities.

There were seven priests hearing confessions and yet I had to queue for about an hour leaning against a pillar and being able to survey the whole congregation. What struck me was the devotion of the congregation and their familiarity and ease with Latin. At lunch I discovered that the Day with Mary organisation is a separate autonomous movement and that the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate are mandated to assist them which they do in providing half a dozen or so sisters to help on these days.

After the lunch break there was Exposition and a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament round the Cathedral – accompanied by some Latin and some English hymns and prayers. We then had a marvellous talk by Father Marcus Holden on Our Lady as Guardian of Doctrine. He explained how Our Lady’s role was essential in defining Jesus Christ as having two natures in one person thus contradicting gnosticism and other heresies at the time of the early Church. He went on to say that it is necessary to accept all the Doctrines of the Church and he specifically mentioned Humanae Vitae – cafeteria catholicism or picking and choosing was simply anathema. Our Lady crushes the serpent of heresy. He recommended that in these difficult times we should remember the slogan “KEEP CALM AND SAY THE ROSARY”. He finished by going through the Creed and asking us to assent to each part which the congregation did with gusto. Here was a priest who should be made a Bishop at the earliest opportunity.

Then we had the five Glorious Mysteries, an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary followed by Benediction. Lastly the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was processed down the main aisle and out into the Piazza and Victoria Street while the congregation sang the traditional Fatima hymn of farewell waving white handkerchiefs. I trust passersby were suitably intrigued!

Talking to one of the Sisters and a Friar of the Immaculate afterwards they are obviously dismayed and suffering at what is happening back in Italy but they put their complete trust in Our Lady. I see their persecution as beating them into the steel we need! Pray for them. One of those whom I have met before – Sister Consolatrice – an American – has now left to join the contemplative part of the Order in Italy.

My wife and I are always inspired and lifted up by these Days with Mary. But why are there are not more indigeneous English Catholics attending them? Have they all been seduced by the likes of ACTA into becoming modernists? Are these ethnic communities who seem conversant with Latin and traditional catechetics the mustard seed of the future Church in this country? They turn out every Saturday – next week it is Clapton, then New Malden, then Blackfen (Father Tim Finigan’s parish), then Tottenham, Ponders End, Newbury Park, Muswell Hill, Acton, Roehampton and on and on throughout the year. Father Holden said they would be with him in Ramsgate in May although he doubted whether he could accommodate so many!

There have been calls on this blog to set up an organisation to counteract the likes of ACTA. It seems to me that the Day with Mary organisation fits the bill; we need to support it and see what developments can grow out of it.

Further details can be found at:

19 comments to Day with Mary at Westminster Cathedral and Fr Marcus Holden’s marvellous talk on Our Lady, Destroyer of All Heresies

  • BJC

    Splendid stuff. Eat your heart out ACTA. 2,000 attendees never mind 400 and a full day of Catholic prayer. Catholics doing Catholic things like going to mass, praying the rosary, going to confession and finishing the day with Benediction. ACTA readers where are your Catholic devotions when you have your general assemblies and meetings? If you are so convinced of the righteousness of your heretical beliefs on contraception, women priests and homosexual acts, why is it that we never see you praying for them? Why do we never see you on your knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament or praying the rosary for these things? If you “love the church”, as you keep on insisting, then where’s the rosaries? Where’s the processions? For people who claim to be “Catholic” you sure don’t behave like it.

    Great to see a young priest teaching the gospel in it’s fullness again. A total reversal of the “Spirit of Vatican II” priests who, with honourable exceptions, virtually ruined the church. We really have to think about asking some Bishops to step aside, go off to a monastery to pray and reflect, and promote young priests like Fr. Marcus Holden to Bishop early for the good of the Church. There’s more like him out there and with the right people in charge this whole mess can be cleared up relatively quickly.

  • Mark Thorne

    I was also in attendance at “A Day With Mary” at Westminster Cathedral for the afternoon, having gone to the cathedral simply for the purposes of confession. The sheer enthusiasm, energy and commitment of these people blew me away (watching the procession was an incredibly moving experience, and brought to my mind John 12:19: “look, the world has gone after Him”). I made enquiries to find out who this wonderful priest was after hearing his homily (although I was already familiar with Fr. Holden’s work with CTS, I’d never seen him in person previously). I’m absolute delighted that the homily has been posted here as a YouTube link for the purpose of posterity. I especially liked the reference at the end of the homily to GK Chesterton, that orthodoxy is both an exhilarating and perilous ride. The Day With Mary organisation would effortlessly provide a nucleus around which orthodox Catholics could congregate.

    Thank you for this post, Deacon Nick, and I can only agree wholeheartedly with and fully endorse all of Mr. Bellord’s comments.

  • iggy o'donovan

    Dear Deacon Nick, I read with interest the story of the conference in Westminister on our Lady Destroyer of All Heresies.
    Somehow reading the contributions to your blog it would seem Mary has still many heresies to destroy.

  • David Rosier

    Easy answer – English are often too arrogant and think matters of faith are fairy tales, whilst our ethnic brothers and sisters are often so much more hungry for God.

  • Michael Sheridan

    Too many Priests ignore Our Blessed Lady. Devotions to Mary were thrown out after Vatican II. I do not know of anywhere in the Vatican II documents that it says that Mary should be thrown out with the bath water. The Rosary is considered “old hat”. How many Parishes now have May/October Devotions? What age is represented when they do have Devotions? Most are 60/70+. Once they are no longer fit and able “Father” will be glad because he will not be disturbed to open up the Church.
    I once asked for Exposition to be held on a Saturday mornings after Mass until after Confessions. The PP was not too keen and demonstrated this by not publishing details in the Parish Newsletter or even explaining what it was and the importance or spending time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
    I thank God that I live in Spain. Yesterday after Mass a Statue of Our Lady was processed out of the Church and along the streets. The Mass before was packed with about 300 people and the age range was the most inclusive that I have seen for many years. The music was fantastic. Why do congregations in Spain sing, even at daily Masses, when congregations in the UK and Ireland are so reluctant. I believe it was St Augustine who said “He who sings. Praises God twice.”

  • ms Catholic state

    I agree with Nicholas concerning the indigenous population of Britain. Nearly non-existent in the Church in parts of Britain. Yet I believe many secularists who feel lost and let down by their ‘saviours’ the politicians, are only waiting for an invite from the Church.

    If only someone could as they say ‘reach out’…and lead them in.

  • Kinga Gray - Grzeczynska LLB

    I think we should have more devotion to Our Blessed Lady. We need something here up North!

    I highly recommend the DVD made by Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Nicholas Schofield entiltled – Faith of Our Fathers – In search of the English Martyrs. Available from St Anthony Communications:

    It is an excellent DVD.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

  • I was also there. Like Nicholas Bellord, arose at 6:30 to be able to get there. The congregation are very devout, from all parts of the globe. The atmosphere is so spiritually nourishing. The priests and nuns so dedicated to their vocation. The sermons so clear and uncompromising.

    It’s the same at Mass in the Catholic Church on the Balls Pond Road in Dalston.

    I stayed for Vespers afterwards. Some young people were waiting for a Confirmation Mass. I asked them if Vespers had finished. “What’s that?” When I found the sheet for Vespers I gave it to them so they would know. There were important people with clipboards flying around, but none of them thought to let the people waiting for Mass at 6 that they could join in with the evening prayers. How the powers that be miss out on evangelising visitors and the young!
    The contrast between the DWM people and the Cathedral staff is stark! Too busy to genuflect etc. how sad!

    The fact that it took me 6 hours to get home due to high winds putting trees on train tracks could not take away from the wonderful experience.

  • I have just been watching Fr M Holden on you tube this priest is a must for all Catholics who believe and live our faith.

  • Michael Petek

    Our Lady, Destroyer of All Heresies.

    What a good name for a warship!

  • Tigga Wild

    Nicholas – heartfelt thanks to you for your account of the day and the video; thanks also to epsilon and Mark Thorne for their reflections. This is so heartening. The Legion of Mary organises similar events though, here in Scotland, not quite on that scale. Yet. Spreading honour to Our Lady Destroyer of All Heresies is the way forward as we face what John Paul 11 called ‘the final confrontation between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel; the Church and the anti-Church’.

  • Tigga Wild
    Thank you for mentioning the LoM. I’m trying to get a praesidium set up, but it’s very slow…
    acta can get permission at the drop of a hat, but try and do anything that’s pro life or pro authentic Catholic and you’re up against all sorts of barriers!
    Every time Michael Voris highlights irregularities happening in the States, you can find the equivalent here!

    • Tigga Wild

      Epsilon,the local Legion Curia should be able to support your efforts and help you recruit a few people. There are only 4 in our Praesidium just now. Despite that we are putting on a Day for Life with a Seminar with international speakers. We’ve done Film Nights, run courses on How to Defend the Faith in Real Life etc. Nothing is particularly well-attended but we press on. It’s a grace to be called into Her Legion. I’m on twitter @tiggawild so please let me know how it’s going. We here will pray for you.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    There is a second video of this day at:

    Scroll down to the second item on the right entitled “Apostolato in Inghilterra” (it is the first of three items so you might have to click to it). You then get one of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate singing “Pie Jesu” – “Pie Jesu” cantato da una Suora Francescana dell’Immacolata”. There are some good pictures of Father Holden conducting Benediction, the congregation etc.

    By the way the eponymous flower reports at:

    The most serious charge of a criminal embezzlement by the family of the Founder, Father Manelli, has been dropped as totally false. Apparently correspondence between the family’s lawyers and Father Volpi has resulted in the later claiming that any libel was down to the people who published his letter making this accusation!

    The correspondence between the lawyers for the Family and the lawyers for Father Volpi can be read at:

    In Italian and mine is not very good and it is lengthy but this is the official website of the FFI!

    So what remains of the case against the FFI?

    1. Well Father Volpi never accused the founder of insisting that only the Latin Mass was to be used and Father Manelli never made it mandatory but just recommended it. So that looks like a storm in a teacup.

    2. Quasi-lefebrvrist traditionalism. Well nothing specific has been published.

    3. “Distortions” fed by the Sisters to the Male Order. Again nothing specific mentioned. I suspect this related to the property “embezzlement” dispute.

    And yet the seminaries have been closed, their publishing house shut down etc etc.

    Has Father Volpi not got enough egg on his face to oblige him to retract and go and pray somewhere?

  • Michael Sheridan

    If anyone is interested this website is interesting Not only do they publish items that are of interest world wide, but I find the accounts of the lives of the saints are an example to me.

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