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Thursday, September 03, 2009

A place of Pilgrimage

On a recent Pilgrimage to Ireland, It was out great joy to be able to visit Skellig Michael, a great mountain island off the coast of County Kerry. It was once home to a community of monks, and is now a place of pilgrimage. We were able to get out to it, but the weather was too rough for the boat to land, so we saw it from the water.


The two Skelligs. Skellig Michael in the background was once home to about 12 monks, but now only the uninhabited Monastery remains as a sight of pilgrimage.


Skellig Michael.


Skellig Michael in the background.


Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R. sung Mass in the parish Church of Ballybunion for some friends in Kerry


On the return journey, needing somewhere to say Mass, we went to our good friend Fr. Wadsworth in Bury.


Our five students were already there for the night before departing the next day for the seminary.

5 comments:

confiteor said...

That altar in the parish Church of Ballybunion is breathtaking!

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

Dear Rev. Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Ireland is The Holy Land par excellence.
Faith and Devotion are tangible in everywhere:
Station Island, The Skelligs, Croagh Patrick, Ballinspittle are much more than sacred places; they are to be considered as the pure essence of Irish Faith.

With All Respect
A.B.

Coffee Catholic said...

I read all about Skellig Michael while staying with the nuns of Our Lady of the Rock in Shaw Island, WA. I was so amazed that the monks could live there! What a tough bunch they must have been!

What is it with monks and wee islands???? Hardy souls...

umblepie said...

Superb photographs. Skellig Michael on a good day looks even more daunting than Papa Stronsay on a bad day! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. God bless all in the Community.

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

" The magnificent Skellig Islands lie 8 miles (12 km) off the coast of Portmagee in South West Kerry. Rising majestically from the sea, Skellig Michael towers 714ft (218 metres) above sea level. On the summit of this awe inspiring rock you will find a remarkably well-preserved sixth century monastic settlement.
The earliest reference in history to the Skellig Islands dates back to 1400BC. During the time of the Penal Laws, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig became a haven for many Catholics whose beliefs and rights were being suppressed. The largest of the Skelligs is Skellig Michael (Sceilg Mhichil) and was home to one of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland. These monks of St. Fionan's monastery led simple lives and lived in stone, beehive shaped huts. They would descend the 670 steps early every morning and fish for the morning's breakfast. They would spend most of the day praying in the church, tending to their gardens and studying. These huts, which were round on the outside and rectangular on the inside, were carefully built so that no drop of rain ever entered between the stones. The monks left the island in the thirteenth century and it became a place of pilgrimage. "

Thanks for the photographs, Dear Reverend Father Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

With All Respect
A.B.

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