Pilgrimage Itinerary for Ireland to Visit the Holy Sites in the Life of St. Colman Mac Duagh
f you are planning a pilgrimage to Ireland to visit the tomb of St. Colman Mac Duagh and other holy places related to his life located throughout the "Emerald Isle," I recommend the following itinerary. (Note: I, as the owner of StColman.com, make no monetary gain in providing these travel suggestions.)
One can easily fly to the Shannon International Airport in Shannon,
Ireland and rent a car or van and drive to the various holy sites
mentioned in this itinerary.
1. Kilmacduagh and the Tomb of St. Colman Mac Duagh (Gort, Co. Galway, Ireland)
Traveling from Shannon, Ireland it is a mere 45 minutes drive to the charming town of Gort, Ireland. Here you will find the sacred fourteen hundred-year-old Monastery of Kilmacduagh with its famous 110-foot leaning Round Tower. This monastery was founded by St. Colman Mac Duagh in 600 A.D., and the Holy Saint himself is buried on its grounds. St. Colman's Sacred Tomb is a short distance west of the Cathedral and is surrounded by many large stones. There is a pious tradition that the soil around St. Colman's grave when applied to the faithful has a miraculous healing property to it.
There are Bed and Breakfast Inns (B&B's) in Gort which can be contacted in advance for lodging. When visiting the holy site of Kilmacduagh, a Mrs. Finnegan is the guardian of the keys that unlock the doors for the Cathedral and other structures at Kilmacduagh. She will lend these keys to pilgrims who would like to view the interiors of these magnificent edifices. You cannot miss her yellow colored Naomh Colman B&B Inn. Just knock on the Inn's door (during reasonable hours) and request the keys to the Churches. (Be sure to return them).
At Kilmacduagh once you have the keys, you should first view the map of the grounds which is posted for pilgrims. Be sure to see the exact location on this map where St. Colman Mac Duagh is buried. Kilmacduagh is truly a sacred and peaceful place and not at all a tourist spot. Take some time to quietly reflect and pray here as the surroundings are quite conducive for that. View all of the magnificent structures and remember that when you are inside the buildings that they are Churches and should be treated with the utmost reverence and respect.
2. St. Colman Mac Duagh's Holy Well (Corker, Co. Galway, Ireland) Where St. Colman was baptized.This Holy Well is located only 15 minutes from Gort, and is just off from the Kinvara Road in the quaint town of Corker, Ireland. The well itself is enclosed in a nicely formed old stone structure located directly behind a family farm house. There is also a large statue of St. Colman Mac Duagh next to the holy well inside this edifice. St. Colman was baptized on this exact spot in the year 560 A.D. from a crystal clear fountain that miraculously appeared and still flows to this day (the Holy Well). Pilgrims who have a firm confidence in the power of St. Colman's intercession have applied this water to themselves and as a result, many documented healings have occurred. Be sure to bring containers to take some of this abundant holy water home to your loved ones. You can contact Mrs. Finnegan (listed above) for the exact and simple directions to this miraculous well.
3. St. Colman's Mac Duagh's Oratory and Cave ("Leaba Mhic Duagh,") in the Burren Forrest.
In 2003 through the help of an Irish business owner, Mr. Colman Keane, from Gort, I found the structural remains of the Oratory and also the perfectly intact cave "Leaba Mhic Duagh." This holy place is where St. Colman Mac Duagh lived for seven years as a Hermit in the year 605 A.D. It is located in a remote site in a rugged forested area called the Burren.
This secluded Oratory and cave [where St. Colman lived] is where the hospitable King Guaire and his court followed their Easter Banquet meal (which was being carried by Angels) to. The famous path through the mountain gorge that leads to the St. Colman's Oratory in the Burren is known as "The Road of the Dishes."
Please note it is difficult to locate this site. In fact, relatively few people have ever been there. You should contact Mr. Keane who will give you directions to find St. Colman's Oratory and cave. Again it is quite hard to find. I recommend offering Mr. Keane a fair stipend (he never requested this) to lead you to St. Colman's Oratory and cave.
Mr. Colman Keane (who has directions to St. Colman's Oratory and cave in the Burren) owns the grocery store in Gort called Keane's. He can be reached by phone at +353 91 631036
4. King Guaire's "Castle" in Kinvara (Dunguaire)
King Guaire (The Catholic King of Connacht) who many consider a saint, was renowned for his generosity and hospitality. It was said that his right arm was literally longer than his left because he was so generous. He befriended St. Colman and provided the resources for the building of the monastery at Kilmacduagh. King Guaire's original palace stood where the current castle known as Dunguaire or Guaire's Fort now stands. This is a very short drive from Gort and is well worth visiting.
5. The Parish Church of St. Colman Mac Duagh in Gort, Ireland (Downtown Gort)
Note: The Church listed below [St. Colman's in Gort] is currently under the control of the unlawful Vatican II sect's, "puppet government in Rome." Use extreme caution. -The Webmaster
This Church, named after St. Colman Mac Duagh, was founded by the Very Rev. Michael Duffy PPVC who was aided by the generous people of Gort in 1825 A.D. This is a classic and large Irish Catholic Church with a very nice grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in it.
6. The Aran Islands (Aranmore) (St. Colman Mac Duagh built two Churches here.)
The Aran Islands are where St. Colman Mac Duagh built two Churches (Teampuill "Temple" Mor Mhic Duagh and Teampuill beg Mhic Duagh.) Both are close to each other, and form a portion of the famous group of Churches at Kilmurvy, known as The Seven Churches. St. Colman was instructed in the way of virtue here by the renowned St. Enda. (Be sure to see St. Enda's monastery when you are there too.) The islands can easily be reached by driving from Gort 45 minutes to Doolin, Ireland and then taking the high speed and well-equipped ferry to the islands. The boat trip costs 18 US and it takes about 25 minutes to arrive at these legendary outposts in the Atlantic sea.
The Aran Islands were well known throughout Christendom and have been the home over the centuries to, "Saints innumerable." Aranmore is an absolute contrast to a tropical island, so be sure to purchase one of the world famous Aran Island hand sewn wool sweaters made there, as it can be blustery. There are some small hotels on the various Aran Islands if you decide to spend more than one day exploring this holy place which has been historically called, "The Aran of the Saints."
7. St. Colman Mac Duagh's Gold Crozier on display at The National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum in Dublin has numerous sacred items on display which show the importance and universal practice of the Catholic Faith in Ireland since the time of St. Patrick. St. Colman Mac Duagh's very own episcopal gold crozier is housed in this museum. It was carefully kept by the O'Heynes Family for centuries and then donated to the National Museum. Be sure to ask a guide exactly where St. Colman's crozier is located as this sacred item has been preserved for fourteen hundred years and is truly a treasure to behold.
National Museum of Ireland Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7 Phone: 01-677 7444 (Note: One would need to drive across the country from Gort to Dublin, Ireland which takes approximately 3 1/2 hours.)
Other Noteworthy Irish Holy Sites
The Shrine of Our Lady of Knock (Knock, Ireland Co. Mayo)
Note: The Knock Shrine is currently under the control of the unlawful Vatican II sect's, "puppet government in Rome." Use EXTREME caution. -The Webmaster
A mere one and a half hour's drive from Gort you will find the celebrated and Church approved Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Knock located in Knock, Ireland. This sanctified spot is where the Blessed Virgin appeared to a group of fifteen people in 1879 A.D. Each year more than one and a half million Catholic pilgrims visit Knock to honor Mary, The Queen of Ireland.
Brief Synopsis of the Knock Apparition
On a raining Thursday evening on the 21st of August 1879, at about the hour of eight o'clock, The Blessed Virgin Mary clothed in white robes with a brilliant crown on her head, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared in a blaze of Heavenly light at the south gable of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Knock, Ireland. Behind them and a little to the left of St. John was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb with adoring angels. The Apparition was seen by fifteen people whose ages ranged from six years to seventy-five and included men, women, adolescents and children. The witnesses watched the Apparition in pouring rain for two hours, while they (the witnesses) recited the Most Holy Rosary.
Note: The Shrine of Our Lady of Knock is only an hour and half drive from Gort. Many pilgrims who stay in Gort visit Knock during the day and return then to Gort for lodging.
Croagh Patrick (Near Westport, a two-hour drive from Gort)
A beautiful and holy mountain that no one should miss! Note: Avoid the small bookstore at the base of Croagh Patrick, as it sells un-Catholic books that are contrary to the Faith. -The Webmaster
St. Patrick's Mountain: Near the town of Westport is the holy 2500-foot high mountain Croagh Patrick. This famous mountain is where St. Patrick climbed to the summit and spent forty days and nights fasting and praying for the people of Ireland. Catholic pilgrims have been climbing this for more than fifteen hundred years as an act of penance and meritorious good work. Every day, but Sunday, you will find pilgrims walking/climbing the rocky path up the side of Croagh Patrick.
Catholics can gain indulgences at certain set times of the year by praying Pater's, Ave's and Gloria's while performing prescribed penitential exercises at different stations along the rock strewn path, until hopefully they reach the summit, where there is a small chapel (certain prayers are required at the summit too.) The ascent to the summit is quite difficult. A lot of people don't make it to the top. Be sure to wear your winter coat, gloves and hat for the climb, as the wind can be very strong and cold. This sacred mountain is situated next to a picturesque ocean bay and on a clear day the views are breathtaking. It is allegedly reported there is not an Irishman alive who does not know about Croagh Patrick. This is a must for any Catholic on a pilgrimage to this wonderful land.
Blessed be St. Colman Mac Duagh!
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