The lengthy process towards canonisation for Mary and the other 250 (English and Welsh) candidates began to move forward; it took until 1970 for 40 of the English martyrs to be canonised. Queen Mary’s cause, to save time and improve its chances of success, was handed over to the hierarchy of Scotland, and there it apparently remained. Although her beatification had the public approval and support of Pope Benedict XV (1914-22), whether for reasons of political sensitivity or simply the absence of miracles, it remained unresolved and was allowed to slip quietly into oblivion.

Maryqueenofscots1587's Blog

The late nineteenth century movement to canonise Mary Queen of Scots was a curious episode in Scottish Catholic history. Initially, this had all the hallmarks of yet another public relations triumph on the part of the Scottish bishops. Then, as quickly as the question of her beatification had arisen, the supporters of Mary’s cause melted away.

If Abbotsford was at the core of the Scottish Catholic cultural psyche, the Church’s association with Mary Queen of Scots gave Catholics added legitimacy through this connection with royalty. The Catholic bishops of Scotland were the guardians of a number of important relics of the Queen — who also featured in Sir Walter Scott’s early novel, The Abbot (published 1820); these relics included her prayer book, crucifix and the ‘Blairs Portrait’, all in considerable demand for national exhibition.1

Nearly ten years after the restoration of the hierarchy, the Scottish bishops welcomed the opportunity to…

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