Our Lady of the Taper

Our Lady of the Taper

Our Lady of the Taper

The statue of Our Lady of the Taper will shortly commence its journey to London to be blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.

It will leave the National Shrine of Wales in Cardigan on 15 September and travel to Clifton Cathedral, Bristol where it will be the focus for a prayer vigil by Welsh and English Catholics from 7pm to 10pm that night.

On 16 September the statue, accompanied by the Rector of the National Shrine, Father Jason Jones and Menevia Bishop, Tom Burns, will continue its journey to Westminster Cathedral where the Holy Father will light a taper in the hand of Our Lady and bless the statue.

Our Lady of the Taper (Mair o Aberteifi) in Cardigan, the national Catholic shrine of Wales, is a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary located in a chapel in Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales.

According to the legend, a statue of Our Lady and Child was found beside the River Teifi with a burning taper (candle) in her hand. The statue was taken to the local parish church, although it was moved several times before a church was specially built to house the shrine. The present St Mary's church dates back to around 1158, making the shrine more than 800 years old.

The original statue is believed to have been taken to London and destroyed at Chelsea in 1538 along with other Marian images on the orders of Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, chief minister of King Henry VIII.

In 1952, the local bishop was informed that Cardigan had once possessed a famous shrine and pilgrimage site, and a new statue was carved based on the description of the original. The new statue was blessed at Westminster Cathedral in London and taken to every parish in the Diocese of Menevia before arriving in Cardigan where it was placed in Our Lady of Sorrows church. Fourteen years later, a new church, Our Lady of the Taper, was consecrated, and the statue was placed in its current home.

The statue was recast in bronze in 1986 and blessed at Cardiff Cathedral, taken around Wales and then installed before 4,500 pilgrims. A candle blessed by Pope John Paul II in Rome was placed in the statue's hand.

The shrine is still visited by many pilgrims each year.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Taper – for a safe journey and the Holy Father’s safety…….

My soul glorifies the Lord
Henceforth all ages will call me Blessed
The Almighty works marvels for me:
Holy His name.

Behold the Handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Father, your Son, Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the light of the World. May the same Spirit lead us to imitate Mary’s Faith, Love and Humility, that, guided by her example, we may follow the light of her Son on our journey through life and come at last to see You as You are, and praise You in the everlasting kingdom of Heaven.


Holy Mary, Mother of God, you offer your Son for our adoration,
May we, too treasure His word in our hearts and help bring His light to the World.

Our Lady of Cardigan, pray for Wales
Our Lady of Cardigan, pray for us

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