Pilgrimages to
Ireland
celtic motif

Pilgrimage to Ireland

In the centuries before the tragic schism that separated the Eastern Church from the Western Church, Ireland was an Island teeming with monasteries and churches. It became the home of thousands of saints, ascetics, and miracle workers of all types, and was the place from which the rest of Europe was evangelized and civilized. Scholars tell us that monks traveled from as far away as Egypt and Syria to join in the spiritual phenomena taking place on that remarkable island.

Now the island is filled with the physical remnants of that era in the form of ruins and sacred sites. It is as though the spirituality of that ancient, almost unremembered time came under some sort of enchantment and was turned to stone, waiting in silence over the centuries for a time of reawakening, when the life is renewed and the ancient places are restored, and the island is known once more as, Holy Ireland, the home of saints and scholars.

glendalough

"A pilgrim is one who allows the place itself to speak to him, or her."
Bishop Kallistos Ware

On these pilgrimages we walk in the footsteps of the many and varied, wonder-working Irish Saints, and as we do so we find that the centuries have slipped away, and that we are tangibly close to our ancient brothers and sisters, with whom we are one, in spirit, in faith, in creed, and in baptism.

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o ur pilgrimage of May 2010 was completed with great success, so now we are turning our thoughts toward what to do next. Each pilgrimage is unique as we visit different sites and explore different approaches. The 2010 pilgrimage was a combination of pilgrimage and spiritual retreat. Instead of going to as many sites as we could in the allotted days we spent longer periods of time in the places we knew to be the most applicable to a retreat setting. Specifically this meant two nights in beautiful Glendalough and four nights on the quiet island of Inishmore (Irish spelling: Inis Mor), a place rich in spiritual heritage, with many ancient shrines dotting its ruggedly beautiful landscape.

As we look ahead to the coming year we want to encourage people who have contacted us in the past, but were unable to participate in the 2010 pilgrimage because of various scheduling problems, to please jump in now and start helping us plan a pilgrimage that fits your schedule.

Father John Musther, who has led the past pilgrimages, has put together an enormous Early Christian Sites of Ireland Database, complete with photographs. If you are considering visiting Ireland, even if it is not with one of our pilgrimages, please browse the database. It will be time well spent.

Early Christian Sites of Ireland Database
pilgrimage to ireland facebook group   orthodox pilgrimages to ireland twitter link
ireland pilgrimage logo