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  • 1. Irish Places of Pilgrimage Mr. Roddy
  • 2. • We are learning about pilgrimages and special journeys • We all take journeys everyday. Sometimes we go on a special journey: • Have you ever been on a memorable journey? Where were you going? • How did you feel? • To visit relatives who live far away • • To see a baby that has been born • When we move house • To visit somewhere that is special to your family • When we go on a special holiday •
  • 3. • Here are some examples of special journeys. • A widow visiting a war grave in France. • An Arsenal fan travelling to Leeds for a match. • A pilgrim travelling to Croagh Patrick. • What are the reasons for each journey?
  • 4. People go for lots of different reasons….. A pilgrimage is a journey to a special place. It is usually a long journey. What is pilgrimage? People of all religions can go on pilgrimage.
  • 5. It could be commanded in scriptures or holy writings To feel part of a larger group or family To ask God to make them better if they are sick. To ask God to forgive them for something. Why go on pilgrimage? To spend time alone and think about God. To bring something back (an actual souvenir, or something spiritual) To renew their faith
  • 6. Characteristics of Pilgrimage Pilgrimage is a particular type of journey On pilgrimages, groups of people unite in a common faith and travel together to a holy place or shrine “Going on pilgrimage without change of heart brings no reward from God” It was the hope and the dream by leaving home and travelling to a special place one might return somehow changed and renewed Pilgrims frequently travelled together in groups to give each other support and protection Today people continue to go on pilgrimage to be at one with themselves and with God
  • 7. Modern Pilgrimage World Youth Day 2011 was held in Madrid The theme for 2011′s World Youth Day is “Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ,Firm in the Faith” (Col 2:7). Did anyone from your parish go Madrid? Find out where the next World Youth Day will be held
  • 8. Irish places of Pilgrimage Many people who travel to pilgrimage sites go to pray for special intentions or to give thanks to God for His love or healing. Lough Derg Glendalough Croagh Patrick Faughart Knock St Brigid’s well in Kildare
  • 9. Name a pilgrimage site in Ireland which is associated with:  Mary _______________  Penance through fasting ____________  Penance through climbing in bare feet ________________  Place of prayer on feast of St Brigid ___________________  St Kevin ___________________  St Laurence O’Toole ______________ Pilgrimage Sites
  • 10. Where were pilgrim sites located in Ireland?  In rural settings  At monasteries  In desolate places to escape distractions and become closer to God Such religious life emphasised solitude, pilgrimage, mission, sacred locations and tough penitential acts.
  • 11. Some characteristics of Celtic Christian Sites: High Crosses Holy Wells Holy Trees Round Towers
  • 12. Lough Derg
  • 13. The Lough Derg Experience  Lough Derg has always been a bit of an enigma - a place where people fast and walk barefoot and walk in circles repeatedly does not make much sense to those on the outside-but to the pilgrim the experience is profound. (www.loughderg.org)
  • 14. Traditional Lough Derg Pilgrimage Core Product: 3 Day Pilgrimage • 1 daily meal of dry toast and black tea • 1 all-night vigil • Bare-foot stations
  • 15. Array of Products  3-day pilgrimages  1-day retreats  Ecumenical day  Family day  Quiet day  Exploring Spirituality through Art.  Mother and Daughter day.
  • 16. High Cross (also called Standing Cross) These freestanding crosses were found outdoors They were probably made of wood initially Later they were made of stone & richly decorated The cross features a stone ring around the intersection, forming a Celtic cross This style of cross is only found in Ireland, Scotland and parts of Britain Such crosses were erected outside churches, monasteries, at land boundaries or crossroads  Some may have been used as preaching crosses
  • 17. The second tallest high cross in Ireland is found in the Dublin Archdiocese, in Moone, Co.Kildare. The theme of the cross is ‘the Help of God’- how God came to humanity’s assistance in their hour of need. Scenes carved on the stone cross include: Daniel in the lion’s pit, the sacrifice of Issac. It is in three parts:  the three children in the fiery furnace  the miracle of the loaves and fish  the flight into Egypt High Cross
  • 18. Did you know?..... For centuries, people revered the deities of wells. In Christianity, Christ uses water to heal. Water is used in Baptism. The Saints blessed the waters of wells and used them for Baptism. Pilgrims traditionally put water from the holy well on afflicted body parts. Many Saints founded a local church beside this source of water. St. Columba is reputed to have blessed over 300 wells. St.Brigid’s Well is a large and ornate well and the site contains a statue of St.Brigid. There are 5 prayer stones in a line. It is a custom to pause at each stone and to reflect upon an aspect of Brigid/Brighid. First stone: Brigid, a woman of the land Second stone: Brigid, the peacemaker Third stone: Brigid, the friend of the poor Fourth stone: Brigid, the hearthwoman Fifth stone: Brigid, woman of contemplation. Behind the fifth stone is a round well that you encircle 3 times to achieve harmony within yourself and within the universe. Holy Wells The Wayside well (beside St Brigid’s Well) is a small and ancient source of water. People visit here to collect water in bottles because of its reputed healing properties.
  • 19. Holy Trees are often called ‘rag’ trees or ‘cloutie’ trees Pilgrims often left rags or items attached to the branches of a nearby tree They may have been in remembrance of healings received Some believe that, while the items remain on the branches, the prayers are still effective Holy Trees
  • 20. Round towers began to be built about the same time as the high crosses. There remains some confusion as to the real purpose of these towers. They may have been:  used for ringing bells  status symbols  landmarks to guide pilgrims  used in liturgies or ceremonies  watchtowers, storehouses and places of refuge. Round Towers
  • 21. The Fire Temple is located at the rear of the Cathedral in Kildare. In Pre-Christian times, the Priestesses of the goddess Brighid kept her flame eternally lit. In Christian times, the religious Sisters of St. Brigid continued this tradition. The light was extinguished during the Reformation. On 1 February 2006, the flame was permanently housed in a large glass enclosed vessel in the town centre of the Market Square. The Fire Temple (Kildare)
  • 22. Who went on pilgrimages? † The majority of people in Celtic times were not literate. They relied on the symbolism in pictures and architecture † They cherished stories about the lives of the Saints and the relics of these Saints † Pilgrim sites associated with these Saints were visited on Saints’ feast day † Pilgrims often fasted, sought cures for illnesses prayed to and honoured their favourite Saints † The Celtic people were a restless people and had an innate tendency to explore the unknown † Unsurprisingly, the trend of ‘white martyrdom’ developed amongst monks. This was where monks would leave possessions, family and friends in order to travel the wilderness forever in the service of God. The three most important Saints of Ireland were St.Patrick, St.Brigid and St.Colmcille (Columba).