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St Patrick's Purgatory

According to ancient myth and legend, each is a passage to the infernal otherworld. Even today, some believe they are still portals. They share striking similarities. The History Channel visits these locations, and along the way, reveals how the St. Please tune in! Here's an over-the-top promo from the History Channel. Older Posts Home. The goal of the pilgrimage is the edge of the lake opposite Saints Island where one can still see the stones that formed the foundation of the wooden bridge that would have brought medieval pilgrims across to Station Island.


The path continues full circle to the visitor centre where the walk began. There are no event s! Lough Derg Pilgrim Path Situated on the lake shore the pilgrim path follows the footsteps of the medieval Lough Derg pilgrims not to Station Island where pilgrims normally go today, but to the threshold of the larger Saints Island which acted as a gateway for several hundred years. Facebook Lough Derg.

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Contact Information: Open. All Rights Reserved. Community groups, societies and work teams would come. It was a social occasion each summer.

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For the fact is that while everyone else is abandoning Lough Derg, the Travelling community retains its staunch loyalty to it. Their devotion and commitment is humbling, especially as many suffer ailments and weight issues due to inadequate access to healthcare, and you see them helping each other to get through each ordeal.

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At one point while at my weariest circling the stone beds, a sallow skinned Amy Winehouse look-a-like Traveller with jet black hair, put her mouth to my ear and whispered something that was either reassuring or enticing, either way it propelled me forward with added vigour. We shuffled around the basilica all night praying our woes away, prodding those who were falling asleep, until finally the great doors of the basilica were ceremoniously opened just before dawn and we stood transfixed as the sun rose over the lake.

During the course of the day, Fr Eoin was taking people aside to reiterate the importance of increasing the numbers of pilgrims. He wanted us all to buy his raffle tickets and make donations. He encouraged us to post positively on Facebook and to make sure that next year we brought more people, at least two or three carloads from our parish or places of work.

Barefoot pilgrims hold hour vigil, three-day fast at Lough Derg, Ireland | Catholics & Cultures

The urgency was at odds with the calm of the island, and yet it felt necessary. In the three years since I visited Lough Derg the bank debts have been paid off, but visitor numbers have not increased. But the new prior, Fr La Flynn , is optimistic that a new style of pilgrimage — which is less about sin and preparing for purgatory — can have a valuable place in society. Despite the cold, hunger, midges, tedium and intellectual paucity of the experience, I did emerge rejuvenated and grateful , and profoundly impacted by the fact that Lough Derg represents our heritage far closer than anything a detox yoga holiday or faux Buddhist retreat can provide.

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We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. For more information see our Cookie Policy. Praying at Lough Derg. Photograph: Maeve Hickey. Intensity I came out of curiosity, but no sooner had I boarded the pilgrim boat to cross the exposed waters of Lough Derg over to the liminal realm of Station Island, than I was transfixed by the intensity of the whole experience and the commitment of my fellow pilgrims who have all been fasting for 15 hours before we arrived.

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